“Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech.” – Benjamin Franklin

Books are dangerous. They make you think.

They make you ask questions. Books, especially public and school library books, are among the most visible targets of censorship. The bonfire was a very efficient form of censorship in an age when books were handwritten and existed in few copies. But in the era of printing and mass markets, burning a book has been reduced to merely a symbolic gesture.

Banned Books Awareness Week provides an opportunity for all American citizens, including readers, authors, aspiring authors, journalists and all those who believe in the First Amendment, to focus on issues of intellectual freedom, as they affect your community, your local public libraries, our country and generations of youth to come.

The Most Frequently Challenged Authors of 2005

* Judy Blume: Blubber, Forever, Deenie

* Robert Cormier: The Chocolate War, We All Fall Down

* Chris Crutcher: Whale Talk, The Sledding Hill

* Robie Harris: It’s Perfectly Normal, It’s So Amazing!

* Phyllis Reynolds Naylor: series

* Toni Morrison: The Bluest Eye, Beloved, Song of Solomon

* J. D. Sallinger: The Catcher in the Rye

* Lois Lowry: The Giver

* Marilyn Reynolds: Detour for Emmy

* Sonya Sones: What My Mother Doesn’t Know


Top Ten Challenged Authors 1990 to 2005

1. Alvin Schwartz

2. Judy Blume

3. Robert Cormier

4. J.K. Rowling

5. Michael Willhoite

6. Katherine Paterson

7. Stephen King

8. Maya Angelou

9. R.L. Stine

10. John Steinbeck


Exercise your First Amendments rights by reading a banned or challenged book. Encourage others to build libraries, not bonfires.


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