Common Sense Media

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What do “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “The Catcher in the Rye,” “The Great Gatsby,” “Native Son,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Fahrenheit 451,” and “The Adventures of Captain Underpants” have in common? At one time or other, someone has tried to ban them from classrooms and public or school libraries.

The American Library Association (ALA) — champions of free access to books and information — launched Banned Books Week in 1982 to celebrate the freedom to read. Libraries, bookstores, publishers, and teachers across the country use the week — this year it’s Sept. 24-30 — to highlight great books that people have banned and to spark a discussion about censorship. At Common Sense Media, we think reading banned books offers families a chance to celebrate reading and promote open access to ideas, both of which are keys to raising a lifelong reader.

Why do people ban books? Often it’s for religious or political reasons: An idea, a scene, or a character in the book offends their religion, sense of morality, or political view. Some …read more


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