All About the Banning of Books for Kids and Teens

Censorship, Challenges, Book Burning, and More

Covers of Kids' Books Subject to Censorship
Kids' Books that Have Been Challenged and/or Censored. Photo by Elizabeth Kennedy

What You Need to Know

While Banned Books Week puts the spotlight on censorship and First Amendment rights, challenges, book banning and censoring happen year-round. The following articles will provide you with information on the subject. I have also provided several opportunities for you to share your opinions and to read the opinions of others.

Banned Books Week FAQs
Get the facts about Banned Books Week: the dates, sponsors, virtual read-out videos and goals.

What is a challenge?
How is a challenge related to kids' books, book banning, censorship? Whether you want to help keep a book on the library shelves or fight to have it removed or access to it restricted, you need to know what a challenge is. After you read the What does a challenge have to do with kids' books, banned books, censorship?, read the opinions of others at Readers Respond: Would you ever challenge a children's book? Why or why not?.

Who Wants Kids' Books Banned and Why?
Find out who is most apt to challenge a book and what the reasons are that make them seek to ban or censor a book in my article Banning and Censorship of Children's Books: The Who and the Why.

Current Banned Books Report
To learn about the current status of challenges, censorship and book banning in the United States and how it's changed in the last few years, read my Current Banned Books Report: Challenges to Books for Kids, Teens and Adults.

Challenging Harry Potter
The Harry Potter books were the most challenged of any books during the decade of 2000-2009. Find out about the Harry Potter Controversy and the varying viewpoints about the popular Harry Potter series. Then, share your opinion and read the opinions of others at Readers Respond: What do you think of the Harry Potter series?.

They're Burning Books Again
Book burning may seem like something that belongs to the distant past, but it is still going on, often for religious reasons. For more information, read my article They're Burning Books Again.

Challenged and Censored Authors of Books for Kids and Teens
Learn about censorship from the viewpoint of authors whose books have been banned and/or censored when you read about Robie H. Harris, author of nonfiction children's books about sexual health and sex education, and young adult novelists Laurie Halse Anderson, Walter Dean Myers, Ellen Hopkins and Stephanie Meyer (see also Parent's Guide to the Twilight Series).

Readers Respond: What do you think?
The American Library Association defines censorship as "A change in the access status of material, based on the content of the work and made by a governing authority or its representatives. Such changes include exclusion, restriction, removal, or age/grade level changes." You're invited to read readers' responses to the question, Should children's books and books for teens be censored? If so, who should do it?

Additional Resources on Book Banning and Censorship
Read What is a Banned Book? from the Classic Literature Guide to get an overview of the subject.

For an idea of what can happen in the classroom, read Censorship and Book Banning in America, followed by Strategies for Educators: Censorship and Book Banning, both from the Secondary Education Guide. Read How to Save a Book from Banning from the Classic Literature Guide to find out what action to take to prevent book banning. There are also several videos on the subject of book banning: How Are Books Banned? Video and Why Was Huck Finn Banned?.