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Freedom

5 Ways to Celebrate Your Freedom to Read

Reading is essential for democracy and intellectual freedom is essential for a creative society.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

How can you fight censorship?

1. Attend our 5th Annual Banned Books Trading Card Reveal Party on Friday, September 23.

2. Collect all 7 2016 Banned Book Trading Cards at the Welcome Desk—a new one revealed each day from 9/25–10/1!

3. Explore these recently challenged books from 2015:

  • 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”).

4. Explore these.

5. Get involved.