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This week, September 27—October 3, is Banned Books week, a national celebration that honors our right to read whatever we want.

Every year, hundreds of books are banned (removed) or challenged (attempted to be removed) from the shelves of libraries, schools, and other institutions.

Titles are often removed for containing subjects of controversy like sexuality, religion, and violence. Even classics like the Harry Potter series have been banned for ‘promoting witchcraft.’

That’s why the American Library Association (ALA) has made it their mission to promote Banned Books Week for over 30 years—to protect and promote literary diversity.

While we can’t feature our usual Banned Book display or events in the library, we still want you join the celebration.

Ways to Celebrate

banned bookTake a Stand on Social Media

Share what #BannedBooksWeek means to you. Tag us on Instagram with a ‘shelfie’ of yourself and the challenged work of your choice, using the hashtag #BannedBooksWeek.

Get Some Themed Goodies

ALA has a collection of Banned books themed items to enjoy. Download coloring pages, infographics, puzzles, and more. There’s also an online store full of T-shirts, masks, and posters.

scaryWatch, Listen, and Learn

There are many virtual resources and events taking place this year for Banned Books Week. Attend webinars about censorship, watch banned book movie adaptations, and listen to First Amendment podcasts or playlists. There’s also a live documentary watch party on the popular banned book series, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark on Friday, October 2, just in time for Halloween!

Give Thanks to Those Who Defend Your Reading Rights

Show your literary heroes some love! Nominate a YDL librarian for the I Love My Librarian Award. Support your favorite banned/challenged authors by writing, tweeting, or emailing them in the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign.

….and READ!

Check out a book from a challenged or banned author in the Banned Books list of 2019 below. You can also view the list from 2018. Books are available through Curbside Pickup, or our Digital Collection.




Top 10 Banned Books of 2019

The Handmaid’s Tale

Atwood, Margaret, 1939-

Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans.

Find in catalog
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

Bundo, Marlon (Rabbit) author.

The story of a lonely bunny, Marlon Bundo, who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States, and the very special day when he met another boy bunny named Wesley that changed his life forever.

Find in catalog

Gino, Alex

A bright, bold debut about a girl who was born a boy, but refuses to let that stand in the way of her dream.

Find in catalog
Prince & Knight

Haack, Daniel

A prince and a knight in shining armor find true love in each other's embrace after fighting a dragon together.

Find in catalog
I Am Jazz!

Herthel, Jessica

Presents the story of a transgender child who traces her early awareness that she is a girl in spite of male anatomy and the acceptance she finds through a wise doctor who explains her natural transgender status.

Find in catalog
Beyond Magenta : Transgender Teens Speak Out

Kuklin, Susan, 1941-

Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference.

Find in catalog
And Tango Makes Three

Richardson, Justin, 1963-

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.

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Harry Potter (Series)

Rowling, J. K.

Chronicle the lives of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

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Sex is a Funny Word

Silverberg, Cory.

A comic book for kids that includes children and families of all makeups, orientations, and gender identies, Sex Is a Funny Word is an essential resource about bodies, gender, and sexuality for children ages 8 to 10 as well as their parents and caregivers. Much more than the "facts of life" or "the birds and the bees."

Find in catalog

Telgemeier, Raina

Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.

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