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Banned Books Week 2021: Sep. 26 -Oct. 2, 2021

Banned Books Week is the annual celebration of the freedom to read.

Books Unite Us, Censorship Divides Us


Banned Book Staff Favorites

"To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

"The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

"I attended a progressive all-girls Catholic high school in Chicago, and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood was the first book we were assigned in our freshmen English class. Reading Atwood’s book showed us what a male-dominated world could look like where women are treated as objects and possessions, and why we must be our own greatest advocates.

At various rallies and protests in recent years I’ve seen signs that say ‘Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again’ – a distressing reminder that what we’ve witnessed in recent years would have once been considered absurd and impossible, but is now becoming frighteningly ordinary. Books like this need to be read to remind us what could easily happen if we don’t pay attention."

"Beloved" by Toni Morrison

"The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros

"I grew up in a small town in rural Wisconsin and spent many days and nights with my head in a book. In fourth grade, I inadvertently skipped several hours of class because I was so engrossed in a story.  Books helped me understand the people around me and people I had never met, introduced me to diverse voices and perspectives, taught me about the beauty and power of language, and gave me friendship and courage when I needed it.
When I finished reading The House on Mango Street in high school, I immediately started it again!  In 2018, the Tanner Humanities Center brought Sandra Cisneros to Utah, and I was thrilled to introduce my teenage daughter to her and to The House on Mango Street. Sandra Cisneros has saved many lives with this book."

"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

"Like many young adults, I was introduced to 'The Great Gatsby' in high school, as it was required reading. We had a lot of required texts but this one stood out to me the most. It was one of the first books I can remember reading that stayed with me throughout the day, that made me think and wonder, even after class had ended. It introduced me to metaphor and symbolism in a way I had never experienced before and it opened my eyes to the absolute beauty and tragedy that words can weave. I re-visit it every so often and I think new things and feel different things every time - a sign of a truly powerful piece of writing."

"The Hobbit" by J.R.R Tolkien


Last Updated: 10/7/21