Banning books seems like a dated concept. It seems like something that happened in the past but couldn’t possibly continue in our modern society. It seems like in 2016 I should be able to say, “I’m so glad we don’t ban books anymore.”
But according to the Banned Books Coalition, censorship is still a very real problem. That’s why librarians, booksellers, authors, publishers, readers and others concerned with intellectual freedom instituted Banned Books Week in 1982. This year’s weeklong event is from September 25 – October 1 and centers around the theme of celebrating diversity.
Here is the list of the ten most challenged books in 2015 as compiled by the Office of Intellectual Freedom:
- Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
- Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).
- I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.
- Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).
- The Holy Bible
Reasons: Religious viewpoint.
- Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).
- Habibi, by Craig Thompson
Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
- Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.
- Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).
You can find a list of frequently challenged books here. Which one of them is your favorite?