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Banned Books Week

This guide provides information about Banned Books Week - including resources about the week, challenged titles, printables for promotion, and more.

About This Research Guide

This guide is meant as a starting point to Banned Books Week for middle school students (5th-8th grade). The guide should be explored with a teacher, or librarian, and can be used for any special lessons that will take place during Banned Books Week (and beyond!)

Specifically for research, this guide will be used for a 7th Grade Humanities short research unit taking place during Banned Books week. The scope of this project will cover many aspects of Banned Books Week, as well book banning, and censorship. There will be some level of choice in which aspects students will be researching for their projects. Suggested research questions include: 

  • What is the history of Banned Books Week?

  • What is the history of book banning & censorship in the United States?

  • What are a few case studies of where, and when book banning has occurred?

  • Which titles are frequently banned, and for what reasons? 

  • How, and/or why do educational institutions honor Banned Books Week today?

How To Navigate the Guide

There are a lot of different resources, and materials located on this guide. Depending on your research question, some pages may be more helpful than others.
For example, if you are doing research specifically on which books are challenged/banned and why, you will probably want to start on the "Graphic Novels" or "Fiction Books" page, because these pages have more information about specific books that have been banned, or challenged. There is also current information about why people think certain books should be banned/challenged on the "Statistics & Infographics" page.
If you are doing research on the history of Banned Books Week, or what the meaning & history of banning/challenging material in the United States looks like, then you will probably want to start on one of the other pages. These include:
If you are doing research on ways that libraries, and schools honor Banned Books Week, try the "Realia, Activities & Promotional Materials" page.
The "Websites" page, and the "Video & Audio" page combine many of these topics.

Wherever possible, I have included helpful tip boxes, including the "Keyword Tips for Researching Banned Books" & the "Accessing Databases Off Campus" box, which has instructions for accessing our online library resources.