This year Banned Books Week is September 18-24, although I strongly suggest that you read banned books every chance you get throughout the year.
The American Library Association provides more information on their site, including lists of frequently challenged books and the ten MOST challenged books. (“A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials.”)
WHY ARE BOOKS BANNED?
Well, there are lots of reasons.
Take The Diary of Anne Frank, for example. “…her diary hasn’t been removed from libraries because of the terror undergirding this heartbreaking account. Schools have deemed some of the 14-year-old’s plain descriptions of her anatomy “pornographic.” Even worse: One Alabama textbook committee asked for it to be added to the banned books list because it was “a real downer.” And yes, it’s certainly a sad book because of Anne Frank’s fate, but it’s also moving, hopeful and funny—and definitely worth a read.” ~
WHO’S BANNING BOOKS?
Oh, just all sorts of people, but not the sort of people you’d want making decisions for everyone, everywhere.
Despite the fact that Americans pride ourselves on our freedoms, we manage to censor or attempt to censor a surprisingly large number of books for the most bizarre reasons. Here are a few of the books that have been banned or challenged in the United States:
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- Animal Farm
- Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret
- Brave New World
- Brideshead Revisited
- Bridge to Terabithia
- The Canterbury Tales
- The Color Purple
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
- Farenheit 451 (yes, a book about banning books)
- The Glass Castle
- The Grapes of Wrath
- The Great Gatsby
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- Harry Potter series
- The Hunger Games series
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- Lady Chatterley’s Lover
- The Lord of the Rings
- Thirteen Reasons Why
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin
This list barely scratches the surface. Thankfully the internet is not yet banned–well, in fact, it is banned in many places–but most of you will be able to access sites about banned books and the actions you can take to stop the madness.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Spread the word.
- READ BANNED BOOKS.
- Participate in these events.
- Find more ways to preserve reading freedom on the Banned Books website.
- Speak out against literary censorship.
The Banned Books Week website also provides web graphics, coloring sheets, videos, and a plethora of information to help you promote Read Banned Books Week.
WHAT ARE YOU READING?
Let me know in the comments which banned book/s you’re reading this year. And applause in advance for your courage in standing up for literary freedom!
More Posts about censorship and banned books
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