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The Most Frequently Challenged Books of the Year

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It is Banned Books Week from September 22 until 28, and readers around the country are celebrating their favorite challenged books. You can also recognize Banned Books Week Heroes, join the Twitter Party or participate in the Virtual Read-Out.

Below, we’ve linked to free samples of all the books on the American Library Association (ALA)’s annual list of the most frequently challenged library books–follow the links below to read these controversial books yourself.

Follow this link for a list of “all the books challenged, restricted, removed, or banned in 2012 and 2013.”

The list was part of the ALA’s 2013 State of America’s Libraries Report. During the past year, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom received 464 reports of challenged books. Here’s one example from the report:

In California, a school committee voted to remove the Stephen King novella “Different Seasons” from Rocklin High School library shelves. The lone dissenter on that committee was 17-year-old student Amanda Wong, who continued to fight the ban and spoke against the decision at a later school board meeting. After hearing Wong’s concerns that the removal “opens a door to censoring other materials,” the district superintendent overturned the committee’s decision and returned the book to the Rocklin High School library’s collection.

10 Most Frequently Challenged Library Books of 2013

1. Captain Underpants 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 Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
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 by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: unsuited for age group, violence

9. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit

10. Beloved by Toni Morrison
Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

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