Research Guides

Banned Books Week 2023

Banned Books Week 2023 Banner
Banned Books Week is October 1 - 7, 2023.

Do you read comics?  How about romances? Historical fiction? Nonfiction?  Chances are, you’ve read a book that’s been banned!  Writers of every race, religion, and gender identity have had their books, comics, short stories and more banned because their ideas were deemed too dangerous for the public.  Books are being banned from libraries in the United States and abroad every year.  According to the 2022 Book Ban Data,  record-breaking 1,269 challenges to 2,571 books in libraries across the country.  This past year saw more book bans that the past 20 years, according to ALA.  Content related to LGBTQAI+ rights or for addressing issues of race and racism is most often the focus of banning attempts.  Find out more about which of your favorite books or comics were banned or challenged in the last year.  Get involved!
Banned Books at the Lowe Art Museum
Banned: An Interactive Lucy St. Project

Running from October 20th to February 24th, South-Florida-based multi-disciplinary artist Chris Friday presents an interactive installation in response to the book bans across the United States. By incorporating a vast array of materials by other creatives as well as physical copies of currently banned literature, Friday explores how artists of color overcome and work through attempts to silence conversations around race, gender, sexuality, and other topics deemed controversial.
Banned Books Week Carnival!
Sigma Tau Delta, UM's chapter of the International English Honor Society, is organizing an event to recognize Banned Books Week. This carnival event will bring students together to highlight censorship and literature across the US, with a focus on books banned in the state of Florida. Participants will be entered into a raffle to win a banned book of their choice!
To attend:
The Rock Plaza
Monday, October 2nd
Find Banned Books!

Use the link below to find banned books in our catalog!  Select ‘Subject’ from the drop down menu and search for ‘banned books’.  Our list keeps growing every day, so check back often!

 Censorship by the numbers graphic
Most Challenged in 2022

2023 Banned Books Week Blog Post
Let Freedom Read!
Banned Books Week 2023
By: Nyabi Benjamin
Every fall, libraries, schools, bookstores, museums, and other places around the world organize in celebration of Banned Books Week. Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week was established in response to a rapid surge in book challenges across American academic institutions.

Taking place October 1st through October 7th, Banned Books Week 2023 calls us to reflect on the violent dangers of censorship, and to acknowledge the importance of libraries in maintaining access to all narratives and ideas—even those considered controversial.

During the week, libraries across the country celebrate the freedom to read while calling attention to continued efforts to ban books which feature the stories of people whose identities and viewpoints have traditionally been underrepresented, such as immigrants, refugees, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, or persons with disabilities.

Recently, libraries have found themselves at the center of a culture war. As conservative groups lead historic efforts to challenge and ban academic materials that address racism, gender, politics, and sexual identity, libraries are being called to fight against censorship efforts in unprecedented waves. This call is not entirely new. Librarians have always been on the front lines of the fight to defend the right to read. However, 2022 saw a record-breaking increase in the number of books being challenged, banned, or suppressed.

The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom – which tracks book challenges and releases the “Top 10 Most Challenged Books” list each year – counted 1,269 challenges to library, school, and university materials in 2022. This figure is a significant jump from 2021’s record breaking count of 729 recorded book challenges. Of the reported book challenges, 58% targeted books and materials in school libraries, classroom libraries or school curricula; 41% of book challenges targeted materials in public libraries. Since many of these challenge cases involved multiple book titles, approximately 2,571 unique titles were contested in 2022.
Why are books challenged?
Oftentimes, book challenges are motivated by a desire to protect children from “inappropriate” content or “offensive” language. The following were the top three reasons cited for challenging materials as reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom:
1.)  the materials were considered "sexually explicit”,
 2.)  the material contained "offensive language”,
3.)  the materials were considered "unsuited to any age group"

When concerned individuals object to the availability of certain books in a school or library, they present a complaint to the school board or library administration, calling for the removal of any materials deemed offensive. These challenges are then reviewed by the appropriate administration. If the verdict requires the challenged book to be relocated or removed from public access entirely, then the book is considered banned
In Florida, a majority of the books challenged and subsequently banned have been books that touch on race (How to be Anti-Racist by: Ibram X. Kendi), sexuality (Lawn Boy by: Jonathan Evison) and gender identity (Gender Queer: A Memoir by: Maia Kobabe). Notably in Florida, these challenges also coincide with the state legislatures passing of the Stop WOKE Act (HB 7) which prohibits the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools, and the “Don’t Say Gay” bill (HB 1557) which bans the teaching and discussion of topics relating to gender and sexual orientation for many young students. Book challenges are about more than just one person or group expressing an opinion about a particular title or author; they serve as an attempt to limit access to specific points of views.

Books have always served as a way for readers to build connections and expand their worldview. The act of engaging with stories that extend beyond our own lived experiences is unifying; censorship, on the other hand, divides and creates barriers. For the full list of this years banned books list and their reasons for being banned, please visit the ALA’s “Top 10 most Challenged Books” list.
Banned Books Week at the University of Miami 
Come join us in October for a week-long celebration of free speech and great literature! Starting October 1st, look around the library for books that have been challenged or banned – some of the titles may surprise you.
Want to know more? Check out our Banned Books Week Guide and learn more about what happens when a book is challenged.
Exercise your right to read – check out a banned book from the library!
2023 Banned Books Week @UML!
While we are not hosting an in-person event this year, please watch our website for Banned Books information!  Look for our exhibits coming in October 2023!
Virtual Read-Out
Join the Virtual Read-out!  Take a look at the Virtual Read-out YouTube channel, featuring celebrities reading from their favorite banned book.  Want to join in?  Take a video of yourself reading aloud from a banned book and submit it online!
Articles on book bannings in libraries
Why the world’s largest publisher found a book-ban lawsuit in Florida “irresistible” – via LA Times and
Penguin Random House and 5 authors are suing a Florida school board over book bans – NPR
Objection to sexual, LGBTQ content propels spike in book challenges – Washington Post
Florida school bans elementary students from reading Amanda Gorman’s The Hill We Climb poem – USA Today
Gov JB Pritzker will sign bill preventing book bans in Illinois – Library Journal

Previous years
The Book Ban Movement Has a Chilling New Tactic: Harassing Teachers on Social Media – Technology Review

With Rising Book Bans, Librarians Have Come Under Attack – New York Times

Utah Attorney General Provides Legal Framework to Fight Book Bans – School Library Journal, May 17, 2022 
Florida students win right to show don’t say gay walkout pictures in yearbook – Boston Globe, May 11,2022

All 200+ Books Banned in Florida and What Miami Booksellers Have to Say About It – Miami New Times, April 18, 2022

NYC libraries are offering free digital library cards to people across the U.S. : The offer is being done in response to book bans that have cropped up around the country –  Timeout, April 13, 2022
Accounts of book bannings and threats to librarians soared in 2021, says study – PBS, April 4, 2022

Efforts to ban books jumped an 'unprecedented' four-fold in 2021, ALA report says –  NPR, April 4, 2022
North Texas superintendent orders books removed from schools, targeting titles about transgender people – Texas Tribune, March 23, 2022

Schools nationwide are quietly removing books from their libraries: Meet the librarians fighting bans and scrambling to preserve children’s freedom to read – Washington Post, March 22, 2022

Give students 'unabridged education,' protesters say at Texas Capitol rally against book censorship – Statesman, March 17, 2022

What Students Are Saying About Banning Books From School Libraries: Teenagers share their nuanced views on the various book banning efforts spreading across the country – New York Times, February 18, 2022

How the new banned books panic fits into America’s history of school censorship: What’s at stake? Who gets to control the story of America –  Vox, February 17, 2022

‘Adults are banning books, but they’re not asking our opinions’: meet the teens of the Banned Book Club – The Guardian, February 7, 2022
So You Want to Support Your Library? School and Public Libraries Need Your Support in a Wave of Book Banning – School Library Journal, February 7, 2022

Banned: Books on race and sexuality are disappearing from Texas schools in record numbers – NBC News, February 1, 2022
The affect of censorship outside of the libraries
Karolides, Bald, Sova, Bald, Margaret, Sova, Dawn B. 120 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature. Second ed. New York: Checkmark, 2011.
Robbins, Louise S. The Dismissal of Miss Ruth Brown: Civil Rights, Censorship, and the American Library. Norman: U of Oklahoma, 2000. 
Fronc, Jennifer. Monitoring the Movies: The Fight over Film Censorship in Early Twentieth-century Urban America. First ed. Austin: U of Texas, 2017
Further info
Banned and Challenged Books
A website of the American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom

General Resources

Banned Books in the UML collections
Acevedo, E. (2018). The poet X (First edition.). New York, NY: HaperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers. -Floor 6, PZ7.5.A348 Po 2018 

Allende, I. (1995). The house of the spirits (1st American ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. -Floor 4, PQ8098.1.L54 C313 1985  

Allison, A. (1999). Hear these voices: youth at the edge of the millennium. New York: Dutton Children’s Books. -Floor 6, HQ796 .A535 1999  

Anderson, L. (1999). Speak (1st ed). New York: Farrar Straus Giroux. -Floor 6, PZ7.A54385 Sp 1999 

Andrews, J. (2012). Me and Earl and the dying girl : a novel. New York: Amulet Books. – Floor 6, PZ7.A56726 Me 2012   

Arnold, E. (2017). What girls are made of. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Lab. -Floor 6, PZ7.A73517 Wh 2017 

Atta, D. (2020). The black flamingo (First US edition.). New York, NY: Balzar + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers. -Floor 6, PR6101.T593 B53 2020 

Atwood, M. (1986). The handmaid's tale. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. -Floor 4, PR9199.3.A8 H3 1986 

Brown, E. (2020). Black girl unlimited: the remarkable story of a teenage wizard (First edition.). New York: Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt and Company. -Floor 6, PZ7.1.B794 Bl 2020 

Callender, K. (2020). King and the dragonflies (First edition.). New York; Scholastic Press. -Floor 6, PZ7.1.C317 Ki 2020 

Chbosky, S. (1999). The perks of being a wallflower. New York: Pocket Books. -Floor 6, PS3553.H3469 P47 1999 

Colbert, B. (2017). Little & Lion (First edition.). New York, Little, Brown and Company. -Floor 6, PZ7.C66998 Lit 2017 

Dawson, J. (2015). This book is gay. Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks Fire. -Floor 6, HQ76.26 .D39 2015 

de la Pena, M. (2008). Mexican whiteboy (First edition.). New York: Delacorte Press. -Floor 6, PZ7.P3725 Mex 2008 

Draper, S. (2018). Blended (First edition.). New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers. -Floor 4, PZ7.D78325 Ble 2018 

Flake, S. (2004). Who am I without him?: short stories about girls and the boys in their lives (First edition.). New York: Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children. -Floor 6, PS3556.L287 W46 2004x 

Frank, E.R. (2015). Dime (First edition). New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers. -Floor 6, PZ7.F84913 Di 2015  

Gay, R. (2017). Hunger: a memoir of (my) body (First edition.). New York, NY: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers. -Floor 1, BF697.5.B63 G39 2017  

Gyasi, Y. (2016). Homegoing. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. -Floor 1, PS3607.Y37 H66 2016 

Hopkins, E. (2013). Crank. New York, New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books. -Floor 4, PS3608.O647 C736 2013 

Hosseini, K. (2003). The kite runner. New York: Riverhead Books. -Floor 4, PS3608.O832 K58 2003 

Jewell, T. (2020). This book is anti-racist. Minneapolis, MN: Francis Lincoln Children’s Books. -Floor 6, HT1521 .J49 2020 

Johnson, G. (2020). All boys aren't blue: a memoir-manifesto. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux. -Floor 6, HQ76.27 .A37 J644 2020  

Johnson, K. (2020). This is my America (First edition.). New York: Random House. -Floor 6, PZ7.1.J623 Th 2020 

Joseph, F. (2020). The Black friend: on being a better white person (First edition.). Somerville, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press. -Floor 6, E184.A1 J664 2020 

Kendi, I. (2016). Stamped from the beginning: the definitive history of racist ideas in America. New York: Nation Books. -Floor 7, E185.61 .K358 2016  

Kobabe, M. (2019). Gender queer. [St. Louis, Missouri]: Lion Forge, LLC. -Floor 6, HQ77.8.K628 A3 2019  

Kuklin, S. (2014). Beyond magenta : transgender teens speak out (First edition.). Somerville, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press. – Floor 6, HQ77.9 .K85 2014   

Lee, L. (2020). I'll be the one (First edition.). New York, NY: Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers. -Floor 6, PZ7.1.L419 Ill 2020 

Miller, J.P. (2021). Brave leaders and activists. St. Catherine’s, Ontario; New York, NY: Crabtree Publishing Company. -Floor 6, E185.96 .M524 2021 

Morrison, T. (1993). The bluest eye (First Knopf edition.). New York: Knopf. – Floor 4, PS3563.O8749 B55 1993 

Nyugen, T. (2020). The magic fish (First edition.). New York: RH Graphic. -Floor 6, PZ7.7.T79 Mag 2020 

Perez, A. (2015). Out of darkness. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Lab. -Floor 6, PZ7.P4255 Ou 2015 

Picoult, J. (2007). Nineteen minutes: a novel (First Atria Books hardcover edition.). New York: Atria Books. -Floor 4, PS3556.I372 N56 2007 

Reynolds, J. (2015). All American boys (First edition.). New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers. -Floor 6, PZ7.R33593 Al 2015 

Sebold, A. (1999). Lucky. New York: Scribner. -Floor 6, HV6561 .S44 1999  

Sherman, A. (2007). The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian (1st ed.). New York: Little, Brown. -Floor 6, PZ7.A382 Ab 2007 

Spiegelman, A. (1997). Maus: a survivor's tale  (First Edition). New York: Pantheon Books. -Floor 1, D810.J4 S6432 1997 

Thomas, A. (2017). The hate u give (First edition.). New York, NY: Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers. -Floor 4, PZ7.1.T448 Hat 2017 

Walls, J. (2005). The glass castle: a memoir. New York: Scribner. -Floor 6, HV5132 .W35 2005 

Witton, H. (2018). Doing it. Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks Fire. -Floor 6, HQ35 .W548 2018 

Zuckerberg, J.R. (2019). A quick & easy guide to queer and trans identities (First edition.). Portland: A Limerence Press. -Floor 1, HQ73 .G5 2019  

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