Happy Banned Books Week

Credit image: ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooks



If you’re a book lover you might’ve already known about this wonderful, wonderful holiday. Which should be made into a federal one so we can get the week off to read as many banned books as want.  Hey, one can dream.

But for one whole week, it is a week of celebration of books. Books that have made a difference in the lives of the reading community. Of books which opened up different worlds and viewpoints. Of books which taught us tolerance, equality, to love and empathize. Of books that gave us readers the greatest adventure of our lives with every turn of the page.

Still, as it’s been every year, books are banned and or challenged for removal from our libraries. And every year the American Library Association receive and track reports of them. Thus using this annual event to showcase on how such censorship can do more harm than good.

Take a look at which books were banned/challenged the most in 2015. And the reasons why:

99561Looking for Alaska, by John Green

Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age






10818853Fifty 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”)






18763344I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings

Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group




18166920Beyond 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”)




1618The 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







26135825Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel

Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”)








10138607Habibi, by Craig Thompson

Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group






6379158Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter

Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence






17237214Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan

Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”)






If you’ve noticed most of the books banned/challenged last year were diverse books. And were banned because of sexuality and religious viewpoints.

Now mind you, in the case of 50 Shades of Grey, I don’t think anyone under 17 years old should read the book. It is an erotic novel primarily written for women in the 20-30s age group, not teens. So can anyone answer me as a women in my early 30s, how is it unsuitable to me? That it’s one of the reasons it was banned?

Obviously E.L. James did not write the series for the young adult age group. But if young teens are going to read it, they’re going to read it. But using “they’ll want to try it,” as a reason to ban/challenge it is insulting. I’d hope that any reader, no matter their age,  are mature enough to realize that the world of 50 Shades is a fantasy. That the whole reforming a rake thing is all fun in books but not in real life.

Anyways, I’ll be on a banned books high this week and will be on the hunt for a banned book to read. And like last year, for The Hunger Games,  write a review to counter the reasons used against it. Anyone, have any suggestions? I like reading mysteries and thrillers, especially in the amateur female detective variety. I also like reading young adult fantasy and supernatural novels. If there’s a book that mashes all of these, I’d love to know about it. Especially, as I’m feeling peckish for a Nancy Drew-ish fantasy/supernatural whodunit.

In the meantime, why not celebrate Banned Books Week with me and across social media. Add the banned books Twibbon to your Twitter profile. Not on Twitter? Then check out the free downloads and Banned Books Week resources and art.


It's my books, and I'll read if I want to...banned books week



    • Yeah, I’m seeing a pattern here. Most of the books were banned/challenged because of sex and religion. But funny, it’s in the bible, in Genesis, where it’s said to ‘be fruitful and multiply.’ And the bible also says to ‘love thy neighbor.’ Basically, people who are different from you. Now all of a sudden it’s wrong to portray that? So it’s alright to ban/challenge a book because it’s a different religion? It’s alright to censor books with scenes of what pretty much every animal,mammal, insect, etc on this planet does? Mate, procreate, have sex. It’s alright to ban books featuring a person who’s not heterosexual?


    • I’ve read the description and it sounds like an interesting whodunit mystery I’d like to read. Too bad the book wasn’t for you but at least you came to that decision yourself. Someone else making that decision for me, what’s good to read and what’s not, is something I can’t abide by.


    • I feel the same. My library shelf is filled with banned books. Nasreen’s Secret School sounds like a good book that everyone should read. Especially girls and young kids. To think of the lengths gone to establishing and going to a secret school. And the deadly repercussions if the school was discovered by the wrong people. When over here in the US access to education is open to all. Very easy to take fore granted.


    • Lol, yes that is so true. Had to look it up because I remember bits of it. There’s a verse in Genesis where a brother had to marry his widowed sister-in-law and give her a heir. Instead during the consummation he withdrew and ‘spilled his seed’ to the ground. So the bible can be banned for religious viewpoints but they gloss over the sex that’s mentioned?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Happy banned books week to you too! As you probably know, I am very much against the idea of banning books because people should have the freedom to read as many viewpoints as they wish and make up their own minds. It’s great that you’ve raised awareness about some of the banned books and previously banned ones here. I couldn’t believe some of the childrens books on this list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Olivia. I can’t believe it either. Where the Wild Things Are, books by Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss been banned before too. How are we as a society suppose to learn anything where what we read is from the same viewpoint. And doesn’t represent characters that look like you or me, different from us, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I D.C. for the past month, they’ve hidden around the city banned books. My college professor had a Banned Books course in sophomore/junior year that I made sure to take. I love it when teachers and libraries strive and work hard to share the beauty, fun and importance of reading a banned book.


  2. I think that banning books just makes people want to read them more. Remember those parental advisory stickers that used to come on CDs? Everybody wanted to buy them as a result of that! And I’m with you on the week off, man. Petition, anybody?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes! A week off for banned book! I need a week off period, but one whole week to read? As long as they’re talking about free college, we might as well push this! I get banned books, but some of the ones they put on the list baffle me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can definitely use a week myself. All I need is a bed, chocolate, Lorna Doone cookies and surrounded by a huge pile of books. It baffles me too. I’ve been watching and listening to authors and librarians speaking about banning on a virtual read out for banned books week. And I couldn’t agree more that the people banning books are depriving others of learning because they feel it’s not safe. Or the content(s) of the book make them uncomfortable. But by the end of day that’s how they think and feel, not me.


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