Banned Books Week 2013

By , September 23, 2013

Banned Books Week is an annual event in which libraries, book sellers, and book nerds everywhere celebrate the freedom to read.  Banned Books Week events often feature displays and public readings of banned books, or books that were attempted to be banned. Yes, people still censor books. I thought I would feature five outstanding books that have been censored recently.


The Bluest Eye
by Toni Morrison
The politics of beauty are at the center of the Nobel Prize winning Morrison’s first novel. Eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove, an African-American girl, wishes her eyes were blue. Read about why it was banned here.

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
This National Book Award winning teen novel concerns Arnold Spirit Jr.  overcoming the extremely difficult circumstances of his home life on the Spokane Indian Reservation while attending a mostly white high school in the next town over. I have read selections from True-Diary at NPL short story read outs. The author took part in a Salon@615 event last October, and our Book-Club-in-a-Bag kit for True Diary remains a hot item. Read more about why it got banned here.

Eleanor & Park
by Rainbow Rowell
Rowell’s teen novel Eleanor & Park received rave reviews in the New York Times from none other than John Green and NPR’s pop culture editor Linda Holmes. The title characters are star crossed lovers who know their intense romance cannot last. At the time of writing, all twelve of our copies are checked out with six holds on top of that. Read more about why it got banned here.

Invisible Man
by Ralph Ellison
Often considered one of the best novels of the twentieth century and a work of art capturing the essence of the twentieth century African American experience, Invisible Man follows one man’s journey from the South to Harlem.  Read about why it got banned here.

Captain Underpants
by Dave Pilkey
Seriously. This uber-popular kids series was the most frequently banned book of last year. You can read about it and the other most frequently banned books here.


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