This is the week to celebrate the freedom to read beloved texts that were once considered offensive—and that sometimes still are subject to challenges or outright bans in schools and libraries.
Sept. 22 to 28 is national Banned Books Week.
"Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read," and brings together readers from all walks of life "in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular," according to the American Library Association website.
Some of the best known banned classics include "The Great Gatsby," "The Catcher in the Rye," "The Color Purple," and "The Lord of the Rings."
According to the Banned Books Week website, the week-long celebration "was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries." Since 1982, 11,300 books have been challenged, with 464 challenges in 2012 alone.
According to the Banned Books Week website, the "Captain Underpants" series topped the list of most challenged titles in 2012. "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," "Thirteen Reasons Why," "Fifty Shades of Grey," and "And Tango Makes Three" round out the top five.
This year, readers can participate in the Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out by creating a video "proclaiming the virtues of the freedom to read" that will be featured on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel.
What's your favorite banned or challenged book? Tell us in the comments!