There are those who believe teaching teens about banned books only encourages them to read inappropriate books, but I've never been one to follow the crowd so instead I taught them about it.
Banned books = censorship. Period.
The school librarian and I discussed censorship and why books are banned or challenged by taking books off our shelves. Showing the students just what books are on these huge lists, ones like CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS, SPEAK, THE GOLDEN COMPASS, ENDER'S GAME, HARRY POTTER, TTYL, etc. totally surprised them. We had such a wonderful discussion about books and reflected on why anyone would want to censor anyone's voice, especially since we live in the United States.
We also shared with them this video:
After our lesson, the students reflected about censorship and for the most part these kids felt that banning books was unfair. Some remarked that this is what they have parents and teachers for, to help them read books and talk about them. A few even told me that knowing a book is banned or challenged makes them want to read a book even more! Leave it to 13 & 14 year olds to be brutally honest!
So, celebrate Banned Book Week with a teen. Read and talk about books!