What Is Banned Books Week?
September 26 – October 2 is Banned Books Week. According to the Banned Books Week Coalition, “Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.’”
The BPL is commemorating Banned Books Week by highlighting some of the most challenged books throughout time. Follow us on Instagram (@bplboston) to see our daily stories featuring different banned books in a variety of categories. You can even test your knowledge of classic book covers on October 3!
Check out our librarians' top picks of most challenged books! Click through to see the full list of books in each category, or visit the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom’s website.
Content Warning: Some of the books listed below have been challenged due to references to sexual assault, substance abuse, and other potentially triggering topics.