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Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read. The books recognized each year have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

We've compiled a list below of some of our librarians' favorite banned books. Is one of your favorites included? Maybe you'll find something to add to your To Read pile! 

If we've piqued your interest, check out the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom for a list of the most banned and challenged books from 2010-2019.

Book River
Book River Items

Fun Home : a Family Tragicomic (2006)

by Alison Bechdel

"I found the deep introspective look at her family, the growth and discovery of her own self while she learns more about her father, and shared through words and art to be beautiful and haunting in equal measure." — Samantha Eichelberger, School Services and Community Engagement Librarian

Two Boys Kissing (2013)

by David Levithan

"This is a sensitive, clear-eyed and kind-hearted rumination on the impact of love on lives that is written in a complex, very unique style that manages to be both poignant and deeply funny at the same time. I love Levithan’s writing and the stories he tells." — Magan Szwarek, Reference Services Director

Breakfast of Champions : Or, Goodbye Blue Monday! (1973)

by Kurt Vonnegut

"It’s so, so sinister and so absurd. A lesser writer couldn’t pull off what Vonnegut manages. And there are illustrations!"  — Magan Szwarek, Reference Services Director

Firestarter (1994)

by Stephen King

"It was my first Stephen King. The middle school librarian saw me looking at it and said, 'We shouldn't even have that book on the shelf.' I checked it out immediately." — Joe Marcantonio, Teen Place Manager

Slaughterhouse-five : Or, The Children's Crusade, a Duty-dance with Death (1999)

by Kurt Vonnegut

"Not for the typical reason. This is one of my favorite banned books because of the letter that Vonnegut wrote to the educator who burned his book. That man was savage." — Joe Marcantonio, Teen Place Manager