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17960-rebel-reader-headerBooks get banned and challenged for all sorts of reasons from “unacceptable sexual content“ and “excessive violence” to “animals don’t talk” and “the book is a real downer." A book challenge happens when a move to ban a book fails, as in the case of the latter.

Every year the American Library Association (ALA) releases a list of the top 10 banned (or challenged) books. In past years, that list has included everything from To Kill A Mockingbird to the Harry Potter series. You can see what made this year's list and why people wanted each book thrown out in the Banned Book List slideshow

17960-Half-price-banned-booksThe reason for trying to ban books is usually to keep them from the eyes of children and teenagers, and sometimes even adults, but it seems that being labeled a "banned book" actually does the opposite. It is surely not what the people who went after the books intended, but the release of the yearly banned books list inspires libraries, bookstores and even publishers to have a little fun by encouraging readers to go "rebel." The ALA labels the campaign: #FreedomToRead.

It is not just the current books "under attack" that feel the love, especially during Banned Books Week, the last week of September, when libraries and bookstores like Half Price Books put out their own annual lists of favorite banned books. 

And then, of course, there are the events! There are so many ways to rebel. Twibbon even offers an "I Read Banned Books" banner for your Twitter and Facebook profile pics to be loud and proud about your .

Book publisher Simon and Schuster spent the week in September having authors host live videos where they each read from banned books and answered questions on the publisher's Facebook page. The company also challenged readers to post their favorite banned book on social media with the hashtag #SSBannedBooks.


 Banned Books Week (usually late September to October) started in 1982 after libraries saw a huge uptick in requests and challenges to books on the shelves of public and schools libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since then, according to the American Library Association.

To learn more about the book banning movements, check out the American Library Association's website.

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