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Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 4.58.34 PMBanned books weeks is one of my favorite weeks. I love this week because it is a way of celebrating our freedom and stressing the importance of ensuring access to all different types of opinions and veiwpoints, even if we don’t agree with them. Challenges to books are a threat to our freedom of speech and choice.

In 2013 there were 307 challenges reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom (down from 2012’s 464). Here are the top 10 most challenged books from last year’s list:

  1. Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
    Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska by John Green
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Bone (series) by Jeff Smith
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence

As you can see, books that face challenges run the gamut from children’s chapter books (Captain Underpants) and popular runaway hits (Hunger Games) to clearly adult novels (Fifty Shades of Grey). Whether you want to read any of these books or not, I support your right to read what you choose. On Thursday I will share some of my favorite Banned books and a few that I haven’t read yet, but hope to by next year’s Banned Books Week.

You can visit the American Library Association for more information about Banned Book Week and look at the top 10 lists for previous years as well.