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Jefferson Middle School: Banned Books

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is dedicated to celebrating the freedom to read. Recognized during the last week of September, Banned Books week joins the book community with a common goal-open access to information and ideas. 

For more information, visit

Banned Books in the 21st Century

Bookmans Does Banned Books Virtual Read-Out (2012)

Map of Book Bans and Challenges

Banned Books in the Jefferson Library Media Center

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?

We need diverse books!

Banned Books in the Jefferson Library Media Center

First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


"First Amendment." First Amendment. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2015. <>.


  • Expression of Concern. An inquiry that has judgmental overtones.
  • Oral Complaint. An oral challenge to the presence and/or appropriateness of the material in question.
  • Written Complaint. A formal, written complaint filed with the institution (library, school, etc.), challenging the presence and/or appropriateness of specific material.
  • Public Attack. A publicly disseminated statement challenging the value of the material, presented to the media and/or others outside the institutional organization in order to gain public support for further action.
  • Censorship. A change in the access status of material, based on the content of the work and made by a governing authority or its representatives. Such changes include exclusion, restriction, removal, or age/grade level changes.

"Challenges to Library Materials." Challenges to Library Materials. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2015. <>.

Penguin Presents: Authors Stand Up for Free Speech

Banned Books in the Jefferson Library Media Center