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Challenged Books: Home

Authors Stand Up

Banning Books in the 21st Century

Bookmans Does Banned Books

Who Initiates Challenges Books?

Researching Why a Book Has Been Challenged


"Congress shall make no law  respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peacably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." - The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution 1791

"If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable." - Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, Texas v. Johnson

Where Are Books Challenged?

Why Books Are Challenged Graph


Challenged Books - A book that a person or a group has attempted to remove from the library shelves and/or school classroom because of objections regarding the book's content.

Banned Books - A book that has been successfully removed from the library shelves and/or school classrooms.

Censor - To edit, expurgate, stitfle, repress.

Censorship -  A change in access status of library materials, made by a governing body or its representatives. Such changes include exclusion, restriction, removal, labeling, or age/grade level changes.

Right to Read - Right to get information and ideas, allows you to discuss and debate ideas (ideas that come from reading)

Opinion - A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof. 

Intellectual Freedom - Freedom to have, receive and get ideas without restriction from a governing body.

Controversial - Giving rise or likely to give rise to public disagreement.

Essential Questions

Why are books challenged and banned?

Should books be banned? Is it ever okay to ban a book? What would be the circumstance, if okay?

Who should get to determine what should be censored?

What are possible historical, cultural, regional, or current events that could contribute to book censorship?

What would you say to someone who told you you couldn't or shouldn't read a book because they find something in the book offensive?

Librarian's Role

  • Provide books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression.
  • Protect student's right to read when others impose their own standards or tastes.