For all of you literary rebels out there, it’s your time to shine; Banned Books Week is going on now!

What is Banned Books Week, you ask? Well, this is a week dedicated to the reading and consumption of books that have been banned or challenged. When a book is banned or challenged it essentially means that the contents of the book have been deemed inappropriate, by school administrators or parents, for a certain age group based on political, moral, or religious values and thus are removed from schools. Banned Books Week is a celebration of freedom; freedom to read the books you want, gain the knowledge you want, and explore different themes and ideas that others have tried to censor.

According to the American Library Association (ALA), these are the top ten most challenged books in 2015:

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The Holy Bible

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Habibi by Craig Thompson

Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Reasons for banning these books include homosexuality, religious themes, sexually explicit content, profanity, sex education, and violence. Other notable banned and challenged books include The Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Ulysses by James Joyce, and 1984 by George Orwell.

Banned Books Week is going on until October 1st, so head over to your local public library and pick up one, or maybe two or three, of these banned books and enjoy the freedom to read what you please. Make sure to use the hashtag #BannedBooksWeek to show off what you’re reading, and make sure to tag us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @RHDnews and @Rush Hour Daily. Did we leave out any of your favorite banned books? Give us some recommendations in the comments!

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