This Book is Banned_ What does banned mean

This book has been banned!

What exactly does it mean
to ban a book?

ooks are being banned in this country at an alarming rate. In fact, an all-time high of nearly 1,500 bans were put in place during the first half of the 2022-2023 school year. But what exactly does that mean? Here’s a definition.

Though challenging a book might sound like a person or group just expressing displeasure, it’s more than that. The American Library Association describes challenging a book as an effort to remove that book from school curriculums, or restrict everyone’s access to it at the library and bookstore. Banning a work is the actual removal of that book from the institution in question.

When it comes to why books get banned, Ursula K. Le Guin summed up the bottom line nicely when she said that a so-called dangerous book “will always be in danger from those it threatens with the demand that they question their assumptions. They’d rather hang on to the assumptions and ban the book.”[1]

Click here to see an overview of Book Banning & Burning Throughout History.


[1] Le Guin, Ursula K. “Unquestioned Assumptions.” The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination. (Boston: Shambhala, 2004), 248.

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