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Banned Books Week 2013


The Books They Don't Want You To Read. Support Banned Books Week, September 22 to September 28, 2013.

Intellectual freedom — the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular — provides the foundation for Banned Books Week (BBW). BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them. BBW highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

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. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982.

The most challenged and/or restricted reading materials have been books for children. However, challenges are not simply an expression of a point of view; on the contrary, they are an attempt to remove materials from public use, thereby restricting the access of others. Even if the motivation to ban or challenge a book is well intentioned, the outcome is detrimental. Censorship denies our freedom as individuals to choose and think for ourselves.

American libraries are the cornerstones of our democracy. Libraries are for everyone, everywhere. Because libraries provide free access to a world of information, they bring opportunity to all people. Now, more than ever, celebrate the freedom to read at your library. Visit the Greenwich Library or its Cos Cob and Byram Shubert branches and pick up an old favorite or a new banned book this week.

Celebrate your freedom to read whatever you want, no matter the content as Greenwich Library joins libraries across the country in observing Banned Books Week from September 22 to September 28. Take one home and decide for yourself.

The Books They Don't Want You To Read

The "10 Most Challenged Books of 2012" reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:

  • 1. Click for availability and more informationCaptain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    George and Harold have created the greatest superhero in the history of their elementary school--and now they're going to bring him to life! Meet Captain Underpants! His true identity is so secret, even HE doesn't know who he is!

  • 2. Click for availability and more informationThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
    Based on the author's own experiences, this first young adult novel by bestselling author Alexie features poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney that reflect the characters art as it chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy attempting to break away from the life he was destined to live.

  • 3. Click for availability and more informationThirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
    When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

  • 4. Click for availability and more informationFifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind -- until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.

  • 5. Click for availability and more informationAnd Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    At New York City's Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches.

  • 6. Click for availability and more informationThe Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Amir is the son of a prominent and wealthy man, while Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant, is a Hazara--a shunned ethnic minority. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them. When Amir and his father flee the country for a new life in California, Amir thinks that he has escaped his past. And yet he cannot leave the memory of Hassan behind him.

  • 7. Click for availability and more informationLooking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.

  • 8. Click for availability and more informationScary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz.
    Traditional and modern-day stories of ghosts, haunts, superstitions, monsters, and horrible scary things.

  • 9. Click for availability and more informationThe Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls.
    The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a penetrating look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette's brilliant father captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who hated anything to do with domesticity. The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

  • 10. Click for availability and more informationBeloved, by Toni Morrison.
    Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.

For more information, please visit these sites:

About Banned and Challenged Books

Banned Book Classics

Frequently Challenged Books of the 21st Century

Frequently Challenged Authors of the 21st Century

Banned Books Week Website

Virtual Read-Out Videos