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Keith Valley Middle School Library: Banned & Challenged Books

Start your assignments in your school library with these great resources!

Why Celebrate Banned Books Week?

Banned Books Week

Celebrate the Freedom to Read 

It's not a celebration of banning books: it is a celebration of intellectual freedom.  We are proud to read and to think for ourselves!

The American Library Association says "the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular.....BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them."


Who Challenges Books?

Books are often challenged or banned due to material that an individual or an organization deems to be offensive, vulgar, racist, or goes against social norms. 

According to the Office of Intellectual Freedom the top three reasons given for challenging materials: 

1.  The material was considered to be "sexually explicit"
2.  The material contained "offensive language"
3.  The materials was "unsuited to any age group"

What's the difference between banning and challenging a book?

According to the American Library Association's website:

"A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.  A banning is the removal of those materials.  Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others."

Censorship Quote


 "Censorship is like telling a man he can't eat a steak just because a baby can't chew it."    -Mark Twain

Free Speech

"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasent facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."      -John Kennedy


Banned Books Week

Links to Organizations

Where are books banned or challenged?

Lists of Banned Books

Find lists of books that have been most frequently challenged or banned here: 

Free Speech Quotes

"Don't join the book burners... Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Censorship, like charity, should begin at home, but, unlike charity, it should end there."
 -- Clare Boothe Luce

"Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too."  -- Voltaire

"Every burned book enlightens the world." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."  -- Noam Chomsky

"You can cage the singer but not the song."  -- Harry Belafonte

"Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself." -- Salman Rushdie

"The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame."
 -- Oscar Wilde