There is a difference between "challenging" and "banning" a book:
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.
Read more in the American Library Association's website
Books usually are challenged with the best intentions—to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information.
Often challenges are motivated by a desire to protect children from “inappropriate” sexual content or “offensive” language. The following were the top three reasons cited for challenging materials as reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom:
Although this is a commendable motivation, Free Access to Libraries for Minors, an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights states that, “Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents—and only parents—have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children—and only their children—to library resources.”
Censorship by librarians of constitutionally protected speech, whether for protection or for any other reason, violates the First Amendment.
(Information retrieved from the American Library Association's website)
Your opinion matters to us! What is your position on this issue?
Since 1982, Banned Books Week has rallied librarians, booksellers, authors, publishers, teachers, and readers of all types to celebrate and defend the freedom to read. As we commemorate 30 years of Banned Books Week and enter our 31st year of protecting readers' rights, ALA is pleased to unveil this timeline of significant banned and challenged books. Timeline powered by Tiki-Toki.
(Retrieved from American Libraries Association website)
View the list of frequently challenged books by year and the list of challenged classics by visiting this page in the American Library Association's Banned Books website.
Top 3 Challenged Books in 2011:
Top 3 Challenged Books in 2010:
Top 3 Challenged Books in 2009:
Top 10 Challenged Classics:
1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell
10. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
Banned Books Week 2014
will take place
September 21-27, 2014
(Stay tuned for more info!)
September 22 - 28, 2013
Banned Books Week (BBW) 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.
Each year, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information.
See the most challenged books of the past year:
Captain Underpants tops the 2012 list of challenged books!