October 1-7 is Banned Book Week. First established in 1982, it is a week that promotes awareness and celebrates the freedom to read. For more than 40 years the American Library Association (ALA) has used this week to spotlight the current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools.
From the ALA’s website: “In a time of intense political polarization, library staff in every state are facing an unprecedented number of attempts to ban books. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom ALA documented 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022, the highest number of attempted book bans since ALA began compiling data about censorship in libraries more than 20 years ago. The unparalleled number of reported book challenges in 2022 nearly doubles the 729 book challenges reported in 2021. Of the record 2,571 unique titles targeted for censorship, most were by or about LGBTQIA+ persons and Black, Indigenous, and people of color.”
At JDPP we value reading and make it a point to incorporate books that tell stories of resilience, courage, and strength in many areas of our programs. Books are banned to silence the stories of brave and often marginalized people. Their stories teach us about the wonderful differences in the people around us and how we must strive to live in a world that embodies acceptance and kindness.
We encourage you to explore the top 13 most challenged books of 2022, read and share them so that we do not allow the stories within their pages to disappear.