Check out a Banned Book!
Banned Books Week
September 26 - October 2, 2021
Libraries across the country stand against censorship, the practice of suppressing or prohibiting books or film that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or harmful.
At Summit County Libraries, we believe in the intellectual freedom of all our patrons to decide what reading or viewing material is appropriate for them and their families.
But every year, books are challenged by members of the public and are often removed from library bookshelves. The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a yearly list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books to help the public understand what books were censored in libraries and schools.
You can find lists from previous years here.
We encourage you to check out one of these books, read it, form your own opinion, and continue to advocate for increased understanding and intellectual freedom in your spheres of influence.
Top Ten Most Challenged Books for 2020
- George by Alex Gino
Reasons: Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community”
- Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
Reasons: Banned and challenged because of author’s public statements, and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people
- All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now”
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint and it was claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel’s inclusion of rape and profanity
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct by the author
- Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin
Reasons: Challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote anti-police views
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Reasons: Challenged for profanity, and it was thought to promote an anti-police messag