Banned Book Week began Sept. 22 and will run through Sept. 28.
The week-long campaign, which launched in the 1980s, is a celebration of the freedom to read and draws attention to the harms of censorship. Chapel Hill is celebrating with a pop-up gallery of banned books and trading cards.
The type of book that is banned ranges from Harry Potter to Captain Underpants to Slaughterhouse Five, but recently there has been an increase in books being placed on the list for containing LGBTQIA+ stories.
Banning books from libraries and schools harms all students, but it is uniquely harmful for students of low socioeconomic status who may not have the resources to purchase books on their own. When books are banned, the subjects in those books are further stigmatized. Thus, it’s particularly harmful when children’s books that are meant to explain potentially confusing topics (such as gender identity, race relations, gay relationships, etc.) are banned.
With that in mind, here are five commonly banned/challenged books from recent years we encourage you to read or share: