Across the U.S., libraries have been gearing up for Banned Books Week, which was started by the American Library Association. The week promotes intellectual freedom and the right for individuals to express thoughts that might be unorthodox or unpopular — and for readers to be able to read those thoughts. This year’s Banned Book Week starts today and runs until Sept. 28,
Books get challenged or banned for different reasons; from religious reasons to being considered sexually provocative or violent, there truly is a wide gamut of reasons individuals try to remove books from libraries, particularly citing the access children have to these books. According to the ALA website, 5,099 books were challenged from 2000-2009. Of those challenge books, the break down is visible below:
- 1,577 challenges due to “sexually explicit” material;
- 1,291 challenges due to “offensive language”;
- 989 challenges due to materials deemed “unsuited to age group”;
- 619 challenged due to “violence”‘ and
- 361 challenges due to “homosexuality.”
Some of my all-time favorite books are challenged or have been so in the past, and include “The Harry Potter” series, “Of Mice and Men,” “Grapes of Wrath,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” and many more. So it makes me exceedingly happy to be able to access these books: as it should make you as well. So this week stop by your local library and check out a banned or challenged book and revel in being able to do so. Or perhaps, relive one of your favorite banned books, particularly if it is one that you remember from your adolescence. Show challengers that they cannot ban or censor what you choose to read.
So what is your favorite(s) banned book? Share them below in the comment section!