September 25th-October 1st is Banned Books Week!
Although Americans generally enjoy freedom of expression, unfortunately, many institutions aim to ban books that they find to be disagreeable. According to the American Library Association, the top 5 most common reasons for banning a book are that it is sexually explicit, contains offensive language, is “unsuited for age group” (whatever that means at the moment), contains violence, or another, unspecified concern. You can find the full statistics here.
Since the banning of books by the U.S. government is illegal due to the First Amendment, it is unsurprising that books are most frequently challenged by smaller institutions such as schools, or, in rarer occasions, public libraries. To my knowledge, no such bans are in place in Fairfax County as of 2016. Many banned books are young adult books and classics that children and teens often read in school.
An article about frequently challenged young adult books: Frequently Challenged YA Books
Many of these books are available at Reston Regional Library, including but not limited to:
- The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
- Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
- House of Night series by Kristin and P.C. Cast
- The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
- Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- Crank by Ellen Hopkins
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- ttyl by Lauren Myracle
- Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- And more!
Happy (banned) reading!