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Celebrate the freedom to read, with us and the national book community, during Banned Books Week, Sept. 22-28. At the Main Library, City Lit Theater will perform “Books on the Chopping Block on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7 pm. This live performance of dramatic readings is taken from the top 10 most banned/challenged books of 2012. City Lit has teamed up with the American Library Association in celebration of Banned Books Week since 2006, performing at special events, libraries and bookstores in and around Chicago.

The 10 most challenged titles of 2012

  • Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey. Reasons: offensive language, unsuited for age group
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. Reasons: offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  • Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  • Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James. Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit
  • And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson. Reasons: homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  • The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  • Looking for Alaska, by John Green. Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  • Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz. Reasons: unsuited for age group, violence
  • The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls. Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit
  • Beloved, by Toni Morrison. Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

More about Banned Books Week

According to the American Library Association, there were 464 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2012, and many more go unreported.

Libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events.

Banned Books Week began in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982.

Learn more about censorship and watch author and celebrity videos.