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Banned Books Week 2023: "Let Freedom Read"

Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. At High Meadow, we take this as an opportunity to build more diverse, equitable, and inclusive classroom libraries. Keep reading to learn more and support our 2023 Banned Books Week book drive!

Image by X Jacobs

The American Library Association's Banned Books Week was launched in 1982, at another moment in our history during which challenges to books in libraries, bookstores, and schools were surging. Unfortunately, the topic is as relevant as ever. According to a new report by PEN America, restrictions and book bans nationwide increased by 33% during the last school year.

As the ALA reports, "the unparalleled number of reported book challenges in 2022 nearly doubles the 729 book challenges reported in 2021. Of the record 2,571 unique titles targeted for censorship, most were by or about LGBTQIA+ persons and Black, Indigenous, and people of color."

"When we ban books, we're closing off readers to people, places, and perspectives. But when we stand up for stories, we unleash the power that lies inside every book. We liberate the array of voices that need to be heard and the scenes that need to be seen. Let freedom read!" —American Library Association

At High Meadow, we are committed to ensuring all of our students can see themselves reflected in our libraries. Last year during Banned Books Week, our community purchased more than 300 books from our teachers' classroom wishlists.

Again this year, each class has a Wishlist of age-appropriate titles that have faced challenges or bans, or that explore identities and histories most commonly challenged or banned. Each list also includes a book for our teachers' shared library.

Please consider donating one or more books from our Wishlists! Give to a certain child's classroom, or choose a theme that speaks to you.

How to Purchase Books from 2023 Teacher Wishlists

This year, we are using the website Giftster to make purchases directly through Postmark Books in Rosendale. Use the list below to explore by classroom.

  • On the Giftster wishlists, click “buy on website” to be taken to Postmark’s website for purchase.

  • During check-out, please write “HMS BBW” in the Order Notes box.

  • Please select “in-store pick up” and High Meadow will pick up all books.

  • Finally, on the Giftster wishlist please click the “purchase” box to indicate to others that the book has been purchased.

Thank you for helping us grow our classroom libraries!

You can also purchase a gift card that we will apply to the wishlists. Use the button below, select "for one individual" and email the virtual gift card to Keri Zurlini @ High Meadow School.


Learn More about Book Challenges and Bans

These graphics from the ALA represent the most challenged books of 2022 and the grounds upon which they've been censored.

This video from the Broward County Libraries was created for BBW 2023 and discusses the contemporary significance of Banned Books Week (suggested for adults and students 4th grade and older).

In this video, Hey, Kiddo author Jarrett J. Krosoczka explains how censoring books amounts to censoring experience (for all ages).


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