This week is Banned Books Week (September 25 - October 2). Banned Books Week is an annual event sponsored in part by The American Library Association that celebrates our freedom to read and the importance of our First Amendment rights.
Every year in the United States our intellectual freedoms are challenged when groups and individuals attempt to ban books from our libraries and schools. This is censorship in it's most blatant form. Due to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers and concerned citizens like us, we have been able to stop this from happening in some cases.
Please visit the ALA (American Library Association website) for more information about events going on all across the country associated with Banned Books Week as well as lists of banned books and other information. There is a wealth of information here.
Also Shelia, at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books has a Mr. Linky provided for bloggers to link their Banned Books Week posts to, so that we can go around and read what others have had to say on the subject. Click here to go to Shelia's post. I know there are several giveaways in honor of Banned Books Week going on as well.
I was absolutely amazed when I began doing some research into what books were banned or were attempted to be banned in the past few decades and I've come to conclusion: I am a banned book lover! I have read a number of banned books and had no idea that anyone had ever tried to have them removed. Granted, there are some books and subjects that younger readers probably shouldn't be exposed to until they are older. But I don't believe it is up to others to decide for me, what I find appropriate for my children.
I want to spotlight some of the books that are on the Banned Books list and see if you are as shocked as I was. These are books that I have read and enjoyed or have intentions to read soon.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling
In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Blubber by Judy Blume
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Lovely Bones by Alic Sebold
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
James and the Giant Peach by Ronald Dahl
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
These are just a few of the books that were banned or attempts were made to ban them. Some of these books I read as required reading in high school, some I have read and enjoyed with my children. I think a lot times book banning an burning and that sort of thing comes from small mindedness and the inability to think that people can think for themselves and decide what is appropriate or not. Please take the time this week to visit the sites I mentioned above as well as find out what's going on at your own libraries and local bookstores. Book banning is alive and well and it's up to concerned readers like us to help do something about it.
Again, I was not very informed this year about Banned Books Week, because I am a relatively new blogger. Next year I plan to post a review of a banned book each day during Banned Books Week as well have a giveaway honoring some of the books that we some feel we should be protected from.