Banned and Challenged Books Discussion Questions

September 30, 2016

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As part of #BannedBooksWeek, I’ve put together some discussion questions to help us have a dialogue around the banning and challenging of books.

  1. ¬†Challenged books are books where someone has formally questioned its appropriateness for a particular reason. Banned books are books which have been removed from a library shelf or school curriculum. Do you think it’s important to differentiate between these two? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think the label we give these books, banned v. challenged, makes a difference in how important the book is? Does it make a difference in how you view the book?banned-books-why-challenged-infographic
  3. Are there valid reasons to ban and challenge books?
  4. What harm, if any is caused by having a book banned?
  5. Why do you think the ALA hosts Banned Books Week? Does it matter?
  6. Why is it important to talk about banned/challenged books?
  7. What are your favorite banned and challenged books? Why are they banned/challenged? Do you agree with these concerns? What group(s) have banned/challenged this book?
  8. Here is a word cloud of the most comment reasons books were banned in 2016. Do these reasons seem valid to you?
  9. What are the common elements of banned/challenged books today? Which are the most important to you? Why?
  10. One of the most common reasons for banning/challenging a book is due to “age-appropriateness”. What does this mean to you? Is it a valid reason?

Check out my 2016 #BannedBooksWeek posts here:

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