Books Unite Us: Banned Books Week

Banned Books week is September 22nd-October 2, 2021 and this years theme is Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us. Banned Books Week began in the 1980s, at a time of increased book challenges and bans. The American Library Association, along with 14 other organizations, works to bring an awareness of censorship during this week each year.

According to the American Library Association (ALA), “Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers.”

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Another aspect that Banned Books week celebrates is the fact that many of these materials do remain available and are ultimately not banned.

The video below highlights the ten most challenged books of 2020 and why they were challenged. This years titles range from children’s novels, young adult fiction and adult fiction and nonfiction. In the past the list has included picture books:

Want to learn more? Check out ALA’s Banned Book FAQ here.

I always try to read a challenged book in honor of Banned Books Week. Want to read one of the top ten? Click on the books title for a physical copy; ebook and audiobook lead to digital downloads in Livebrary. If the physical book is not available in the Express Collection we can help you interlibrary loan it.

George by Alex Gino: ebook audiobook

Stamped–Racism, Antiracism and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi: ebook audiobook

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds: ebook audiobook

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: ebook audiobook

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie ebook audiobook

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano audiobook

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee ebook audiobook

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck ebook audiobook

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison ebook audiobook

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas ebook audiobook