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Banned Book Week Celebrates 30 Years

By Kristin Masters. Oct 1, 2012. 2:30 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literature

Yesterday kicked off the 30th annual Banned Books Week, an event that celebrates our freedom to read. Sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), along with other industry organizations, Banned Books Week is an excellent opportunity to celebrate some of America’s most beloved and exceptional literature.

Thirty Years of Liberating Literature

Since 1982, the ALA has put on Banned Books Week. The event has grown to include countless schools, libraries, and volunteers all over the United States. This year, there are many ways to participate, including the Virtual Read-Out and the 50 State Salute to Banned Books Week.  Since the ALA began collecting data on banned and challenged books, it has recorded 10,676 challenges (1990-2010). Many more challenges have likely occurred, but went unreported.

Top Ten Banned Books by Decade

The passage of time certainly changes people’s perceptions of literature, and new literature often challenges us in new ways. Over the past few decades, the list of most challenged books list has evolved.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark TwainRare Harry Potter books by JK RowlingHis Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman


  1. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz

  2. Daddy’s Roommate, by Michael Willhoite

  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

  4. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier

  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

  6. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

  7. Forever, by Judy Blume

  8. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson

  9. Heather Has Two Mommies, by Leslea Newman

  10. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger


  1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling

  2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

  3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier

  4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell

  5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

  6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

  7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz

  8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman

  9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle

  10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Did any titles on these lists surprise you? And do you believe that books should be banned from libraries under any circumstances?

Kristin Masters
Master Content Brain. You think it, she writes it, no good thought remains unposted. Sprinkles pixie dust on Google+, newsletters, blog, facebook, twitter and just about everything else.


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