Banning Books Silences Stories

What’s your story? Could you imagine yourself at Hogwarts? Did you devour the Hunger Games? Maybe you read Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl and found yourself imagining what her life must have been like? Could you imagine no longer having access to these books because a member of your community decided they were too dangerous, and should be removed from the library? Harry Potter? Too violent, anti-family, and has “a serious tone of death, hate, lack of respect, and sheer evil.” Hunger Games? Numbs students to violence. And Anne Frank? “Pornographic” and “a real downer.” (Doyle 278, 134, 163)

Banning books silences stories. Literature provides us not only with pleasure, but with a safe place to explore ideas and connect with people and worlds we can only imagine. It also provides us with an opportunity to connect with our own identities and answer questions for ourselves.

Last year, the American Library Association recorded 354 challenges to materials. Thanks to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, and students most challenges are unsuccessful and materials remain available.  

Celebrate your freedom to read and share stories with the DePaul Univeristy Library and the Writing Center during Banned Books Week. Listen to us on SCRAWL, look for the UCWbL’s info tables and join us both on Friday, September 28 at 1:00pm for Books on the Chopping Block with City Lit Theater Company. This one hour performance of excerpts from 2017’s top ten list of banned and challenged books and will be followed by refreshments, Q&A, and  chance to win one of four “banned” books! Come a little bit early to learn more about the history of banned books week and make a button featuring the cover of a favorite banned book.

See our research guide or work with our research help staff to learn more about banned and challenged materials.


Doyle, Robert P. Banned Books : Challenging Our Freedom to Read. [Updated and expanded 2014 ed.] ed., American Library Association, 2014.


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