Banned Books Week – Celebrating the Freedom to Read:

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Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries, bookstores, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types across the USA draw attention to the problem of censorship. The 2013 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 22-28.

In 1982, Banned Books Week was launched in response to a surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Since then 11,300 books have been challenged. According to the American Library Association, there were 464 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2012, and many more go unreported.

Here is a partial list of the 10 most challenged titles of 2012:

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison. Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

For more information on Banned Books Week, visit the American Library Association website by clicking here. For a bibliography of books challenged, restricted, removed, or banned in 2012 and 2013 as reported in the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom from May 2012 to May 2013, click here.

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About Graves Library

I am a public library located in southern Maine. I am open 42 hours per week and serve over 6,000 patrons. The Library collaborates with others to meet the needs of the entire community for education, information, recreation, and communication. Residents of the towns of Kennebunkport, Kennebunk, Cape Porpoise, Wells, or Arundel, Maine (including general area) are welcome to a free Library Card. Non-Residents are also welcome to a temporary card for a fee of $20.00 (deposit). At the end of the stay, the non-resident may request their deposit be returned as long as the account is clear of any fines and all materials have been safely returned to the Library.
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