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Banned Book Week

The first Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press,” this includes controversial articles, movies, T.V shows and most importantly books, and yet they’re being banned in schools and public libraries all over the nation.  How does a book get banned in a country that protects freedom of press and speech ? It’s pretty easy: just get a bunch of  parents, teachers or librarians to attempt to get it removed (that’s called challenged ) and if it’s passed, then it’s banned in that school or area.

According to the Office of Intellectual Freedom, the top three reasons a book can get banned are: 1.  The material is considered “sexually explicit,” 2. The material contains “offensive language,” and 3. The material is considered “unsuited in any age group.” Other reasons for banning a book include violence , different religious viewpoint  and “other offensive items.” 

The top ten most frequently challenged books of 2015 are

1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green

  1. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James

  1. Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).

3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings

  1. Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.

4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin

  1. Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).

5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon

  1. Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).

6. The Holy Bible

  1. Reasons: Religious viewpoint.

7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel

  1. Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).

8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson

  1. Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

9. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter

  1. Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.

10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan

  1. Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).

By: Serina Motola (12th grade)

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