Banned Books Week

September 24−October 1, 2011

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the our freedoms of speech and expression.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week.  

In this special Banned Book Week video clip, Banned Author Judy Blume talks about the issue of censoring of books.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted banning.  An extensive list of Banned Books is available on the American Library Association site, just click here.  SDCL , as a library that supports intellectual freedom, has these banned books available to all who wish to read them.

1984 by George Orwell

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

A Farewell to Arms   by Ernest Hemingway

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Beloved by Toni Morrison

 Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak 

Forever by Judy Blume

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Jaws by Peter Benchly 

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy


Since the inception of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs as part of their activities. This year, for the first time, readers from around the world will be able to participate virtually in Banned Books Week, Sept. 24 – Oct.1. During this year’s celebration of Banned Books Week, readers will be able to proclaim the virtues of their favorite banned books by posting videos of themselves reading excerpts to a dedicated YouTube channel.

Or check out this post at Huffington Post, on the 11 most surprising banned books, and why they were banned!


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