Banned Books Week

posted Sep 13, 2011, 10:37 AM by Erica Hanke-Young

September 25 to October 1: Celebrate the Right to Read

 Banned Books Week 2011 is the thirtieth annual celebration of the freedom to read. This freedom, not only to choose what we read, but also to be able to select from a full array of possibilities, is firmly rooted in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of press. Although we enjoy an increasing quantity and availability of information and reading material, we must remain vigilant to ensure that access to this material is preserved; would-be censors, who continue to threaten the freedom to read, come from all quarters and from all political persuasions. Even if their motivations for restrictions are well intentioned, censors try to limit the freedom of others to choose what they read, see or hear.

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. Elect to read an old favorite or a new banned book this week. Authors most often targeted include Mark Twain, Judy Blume, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway and Toni Morrison.

The following list represents a sample of books challenged, restricted, removed or banned in 2010-2011 as reported in the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom from May 2010 through May 2011. For a more complete list, visit

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

Snow Falling on Cedars, David Guterson

Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India, Joseph Lelveld

We’ll Be Here for the Rest of Our Lives, Paul Shaffer

Betrayed, P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

The Awakening, Kate Chopin

Bone, Jeff Smith