All About Banned Books and Free Activity Sheet

Did you know there was such a thing as Banned Books Week?  Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries. It celebrates the freedom to read by encouraging read-outs, displays, and community activities that raise awareness of the ongoing threat of censorship.

All About Banned Books from Hip Homeschool Moms

More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 311 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2014, and many more go unreported.

The American Library Association compiles lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information.

What Are Banned Books?

Banning books is the removal of those materials that a person or group deem inappropriate. These people start challenges in an attempt to remove material from a curriculum, book store, or library, thereby restricting the access of others.  Due to the commitment of people in the community such as librarians, teachers, parents, students, and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful, and most materials remain in the school curriculum, book store, or library collection.

Banned Books Week 2015

According to the event’s national planning committee, Young Adult books will be the focus of Banned Books Week 2015. It will run from September 27 through October 3, 2015, and will be observed in libraries, schools, book stores, and other community settings across the nation and the world.

A Free Activity Sheet for Banned Books Week

If you decide to observe Banned Books Week this year, you might want to use this Free Banned Books Activity Sheet. Listed below are some of the classic banned books, and below that you can find information about books that have been banned more recently. Of course you should decide if your children are mature enough to read any of these banned books and, if so, how you want to handle this potentially difficult subject.


Classic Banned Books

disclaimer Some of the Most Banned Books 0f 2014

According to the American Library Association, these are the most challenged books of 2014. The reasons they have been challenged are also listed.

1)      The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”

2)      Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”

3)      And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”

4)      The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”

5)      It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris

Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”

6)      Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group. Additional reasons:

7)      The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence

8)      The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”

9)      A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

10)  Drama, by Raina Telgemeier

Reasons: sexually explicit

Have You Read Any Banned Books? What do you think about the possibility of these or other books possibly being banned?

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  1. I hate banned book week. Why? Because it perpetuates that these books are actually banned when the books on the list are actually just restricted from being offered in certain specific places, mostly elementary, junior high and high school libraries. By connotation, it lumps concerned parents who challenge whether certain books are appropriate for a Kindergarten class in the same category as people who used to burn books or throw people in jail for owning them. It treats challenges as a necessarily bad thing in stead of a reasonable participation in our education system.

    Most people recognize that children should not be be exposed to ALL AND ANY book, movie, TV show or video game. No one sends out a BANNED MOVIE LIST because the movies are rated R or X and children are restricted from access. But these books get labled that, and the people trying to have a say as to what chilren are exposed to get labeled as “book banners” and it’s mis-information.

    (And, I especially find challenges to REQUIRED student reading being included on this list as IRKSOME. How does asking that a child not HAVE to read something make it banned?)

  2. Several of the classic banned books are my favorites; however, I would want my children to be sufficiently old before reading them. Most of the 2014 books I think I’ll pass on!

  3. wow. some of the books have been adapted in movies already. like ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’. but i think it’s normal that we have like review committee like this for books. like in movies. there are just books which are thematically not suitable for kids – gambling, alcoholism or sex as such.

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