What’s a banned book and how do I get one?

Banned Books Week is coming up at the end of September, and we’re excited to read them with you. They’re the focus of September’s Adult Reading Challenge, but read on for banned books for everyone of every age.

But wait, what are we talking about when we talk about banned books? Banned books are books that have been removed from a library’s shelves due to a challenge, or a formal complaint, by a member of that library’s community.

Why do people challenge books? People challenge books for all kinds of reasons – because they include religious themes, profanity, or discussions of race, because they allude to sexuality or sexual situations, or just because they include viewpoints outside of the mainstream.

Why do libraries celebrate banned books? Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read. Libraries value free and open access to information and support your freedom to seek, to read, and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

What should I read? Below are some of the most challenged books from last year, and how you can find them at the Piscataway Public Library.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

  • This critically acclaimed novel is the coming-of-age story of Amir and his best friend, Hassan, set against the backdrop of the fall of the Afghan monarchy, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime. This title has been challenged for focusing on Islam and including sexual violence
  • Stop by the Library to pick up the book, the movie, or the audiobook
  • Need large print? We have that, too!
  • Prefer to download the ebook from home? Just click here

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

  • This young adult novel follows a high school student as she descends into despair brought on by betrayal and bullying, culminating with her suicide. Resurfacing as controversial after a Netflix series based on the book debuted, this title has been challenged for its discussion and portrayal of suicide
  • Stop by Kennedy or Westergard to borrow the book or pick up the audiobook at Kennedy – if you’re coming to Kennedy, be sure to check out our new Teen Space!
  • Interested in the Netflix adaptation? Borrow season one
  • Several editions of ebook and eaudiobook are also available, so make sure to check our catalog

George by Alex Gino

  • Revieweed as “a narrative about a young person who is very much trying to become who they are,” George has been challenged because it includes a transgender child
  • Stop by our Children’s Room to pick up a copy or hop on Hoopla to download the ebook today
Posted in Blog, Explore, Find It, For You.

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