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Banned Books Week

Celebrate the freedom to read Sept. 21 – 27. The National Banned Books Week 2014 Committee chose to celebrate comics and graphic novels. “This year we spotlight graphic novels because, despite their serious literary merit and popularity as a genre, they are often subject to censorship,” said Judith Platt, chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee.

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The No. 1 most challenged book in America is Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which was published in 1884. Its first ban came in Concord, Mass., in 1885, where it was called “trash and only suitable for slums.” It has also been labeled “racially insensitive.”

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The top 10 most challenged books of 2013 were: Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey; The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison; The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie; Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James; The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins; A Bad Boy Can Be a Good Girl by Tanya Lee Stone; Looking for Alaska by John Green; The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky; Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya; Bone (series) by Jeff Smith.

464

Number of books challenged in schools and libraries in the United States in 2012.

307

Number of books challenged in schools and libraries in the United States in 2013.

1982

The year Banned Books Week was launched, in response to a surge in the number of books challenged in schools and libraries.

11,300

The number of books that have been challenged since 1982.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; the Freedom to Read Foundation; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; National Association of College Stores; PEN American Center and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.