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Virtual Displays: Banned Book Week - 2021

Banned Book Week


     Since it was founded in 1982, Banned Books Week has highlighted the value of free and open access to information by drawing attention to the attempts to remove books and other materials from libraries, schools, and bookstores. 

What is Banned Books Week?

No, we're not banning books at Viterbo Library.  Banned Book Week is an annual celebration that draws attention to challenges to books and books that have been banned in schools as well as libraries.  We WANT you to read these books!  Books are often banned for supposed moral or religious reasons, or sometimes just because a single person disagrees with a character or story.  But Librarians believe in your freedom to read whatever you choose. 

To the right you will find the Top Ten challenged books from the past year, 2020.  Many of these books have been in the top ten for several or many years. 2020 saw an increase in challenges to books about racism and racial justice.  

Below you can also find other books in the Viterbo Library that have been banned or challenged at some point in time. 


Banned Books in the Viterbo Library

The Snowy Day

Banned for: being a picture book with a black character, author, a white man, did not have the right to create a Black character and that he only created a "Black" story so that he could get the award


Banned for: being 'depraved, immoral, psychotic, vulgar, and anti-Christian' and obscenity

Outside over There

Banned for: references to nudity, religion and witchcraft and being 'weird and frightening'

Strega Nona

Banned for: ' for depicting magic, witches, and witchcraft in a positive light'

Looking for Alaska

Banned for: a sex scene that was "a bit much" and "inappropriate language."

Nasreen's Secret School

Banned for: "religious viewpoint,” “unsuited to age group” and “violence.

In the Night Kitchen

Banned for: "desensitizing children to nudity"

Of Mice and Men

Banned for: “profanity,” “morbid and depressing themes,” and the author’s alleged “anti-business attitude.” Others have called it “derogatory towards African Americans, women, and the developmentally disabled.”

Jacob's New Dress

Banned for : "not appropriate for any child whose parents support traditional family values," and being a "tool of indoctrination to normalize transgender behavior"

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? My First Reader

Banned for: Author was mixed up with another author who wrote a book about Marxism.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Banned for: promoting witchcraft, including sexual content, offensive language, and being "a masterpiece of satanic deception"

Bridge to Terabithia

Banned for : "references to witchcraft and atheism and a lot of swearing"

Brave New World

Banned for: Insensitivity, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, and drug use.


Banned for: racial themes, sexual content, and passages about ghosts

And Tango Makes Three

Banned for: Homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

This One Summer

Banned for: including LGBT characters, drug use, and profanity, and being considered sexually explicit with mature themes.

The Amazing Bone

Banned for: violence, racism and political viewpoint.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Banned for: themes of rape and use of profanity and racial slurs.

The Kite Runner

Banned for: depictions of homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoints, sexually explicit, violence, unsuited to age group.

The Paper Bag Princess

Banned for: being "anti-family"

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Banned for: frank descriptions of masturbation, sex, drugs, and suicide.

His Dark Materials: the Golden Compass (Book 1)

Banned for: promoting atheism and attacking Christianity, in particular the Catholic church.

The Hate U Give

Banned for: inappropriate language, pervasive vulgarity and racially-insensitive language, indoctrination of distrust of police.

The Hunger Games

Banned for: Anti-ethnic, anti-family, insensitivity, offensive language, occult/satanic, violence, religious viewpoint, and sexuality.

The Chocolate War

Banned for:"adult" language, frequent sexual references, and violence.

The Diary of a Young Girl

Banned for: inappropriate for age group, believing Anne Frank wasn't a real person, discussion of sex and masturbation, being pro-Jewish propaganda, etc.

The Giving Tree

Banned for: being sexist.

Alice in Wonderland

Banned for: expressing expletives and alluding to masturbation and other sexual fantasies as well as diminishing, in the eyes of children, the statures of certain authority figures.

The Bluest Eye

Banned for: sexually explicit material, graphic descriptions, disturbing language, an underlying socialist-communist agenda and being a “bad book.”

The Catcher in the Rye

Banned for: profanity and sexual references, use of vulgar and obscene language, as well as statements defamatory to God, being anti-white, immoral, and/or violent

Thirteen Reasons Why

Banned for: drug and alcohol use, sexual content, suicide, and being unsuited for age group.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Banned for: discussion of alcohol, poverty, bullying, violence, sexuality, profanity and slurs related to homosexuality and mental disability.

More About Banned Book Week

Top Ten 2020

By the Numbers