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Banned Books

Books Unite Us!


What is a Banned Book?

Books have been banned as long as there have been books and continue to be banned or challenged even today. A banned book is a book that may be:

  • removed from a library or libraries
  • not allowed to be published
  • not allowed to enter an entire country
  • not allowed to exist: to be physically destroyed, typically by burning, such as the notorious book burning in Nazi Germany

The most extreme form of banning is the death or demand for the death of the author, as during the Inquisition, or more recently with Salman Rushdie.

Challenge or Ban?

challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.

banning is the removal of those materials.

Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.

The First Amendment

In the United States, your right to read what you want is protected by the First Amendment. In a free society, the author and reader are protected.