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The Optimist

Banned Books Week

Lilly Thomas, Staff Writer/Photographer

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This week is Banned Books Week, an annual tradition that started in 1982. Judith Krug, a First Amendment and library activist, founded the week after the Association of American Publishers contacted her with the concern of more and more books becoming banned.

Each year, the Banned Books Week Coalition devises a list of the most “challenged” books of the year. The books are usually challenged because they are considered sexually explicit or contain offensive language or violence. Some of the books on these lists might surprise you! Here are a few:

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

In 2001, the Harry Potter books topped the challenged book list and stayed on it for years to come. The series was banned in many schools because of its “Satanic messages, anti-family views, and depictions of violence.”

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

This novel is part of the curriculum of many schools, including South. It was the 10th most challenged book in 2004 because of its “offensive language, racism, and violence”.

The Captain Underpants Series by Dav Pilkey

That’s right. Our beloved Captain Underpants was at the very top of the challenged lists in both 2012 and 2013. It was banned because of “offensive language, violence and unsuitability for the intended age group.”

This Banned Books Week, make sure to celebrate by visiting the library or your favorite book store!

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The student news site of Bloomington High School South
Banned Books Week