Monday, September 29, 2008

Banned Books Week

September 17 to October 4 is Banned Books Week!


Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read!

Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982. The challenges have occurred in every state and in hundreds of communities. People challenge books that they say are too sexual or too violent. They object to profanity and slang, and protest against offensive portrayals of racial or religious groups--or positive portrayals of homosexuals. Their targets range from books that explore the latest problems to classic and beloved works of American literature.

According to the American Library Association, more than 400 books were challenged in 2007. The 10 most challenged titles were:

1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
2. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
3. Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes
4. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
7. TTYL by Lauren Myracle
8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
9. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

During the last week of September every year, hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2008 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 27 through October 4.

Can you imagine not being able to read your favorite book because someone else thinks it is too controversial? Take a stand and read a banned book this week. What's your favorite banned book?



Jill D. said...

I have to say banning books has the opposite affect for me. If a book is on a banned list, I am going to wonder why and then I will read it just to find out. The only banned book I have read that I can think of is Lolita. Surprisingly, I thought it was a really good book. Don't get me wrong it was totally creepy, but it was facinating too, to see how this guy's mind worked.

Katiebabs said...

Jill: I have read Lolita 3 times, the first time when I was sixteen and like you I found it to be an excellent book even though the story with an 40 + man and a thirteen year old girl disturbing.

Amy C said...

I don't understand why people would waste the time to ban books. You have a choice to either pick up the book or not, so why the heck should those people care. There is controversy the news not controversial at they try to ban and censor that? Everything in our world is controversial if you don't believe the way the ones who complain do. You can't ban a culture or a religion or a race of people, so why waste the time to ban a book. It's a choice and no one should be powerful enough to take that choice away from someone to read.

Stacy~ said...

It seems people try to oppress things they don't understand or are afraid of, and it's sad.

Probably anything in the world you can think of is controversial to someone, and it's not right that another person can dictate what you can or cannot read or say. I believe that knowledge is power, ignorance is not.

Tracy said...

There are some people who need to find something else to do with their time. If they don't like it, don't read it!!

And when are they going to leave Huck Finn alone?

little alys said...

I'm right there with Jill. I like to look at those Banned Book lists and go out to read them. Hahaha.
And I concur with Stacy's explanation.
Or, in my words: weak, insecure, and ignorant control freaks trying to rule the world.

JenB said...

I loved How to Eat Fried Worms, and I was shocked to find out a couple of years ago that it was a banned book (dunno if it still is).

I'm even more surprised that the Harry Potter books are banned in so many school libraries. I guess it's a bad thing to teach children to solve problems and be independent. *shrug*

azteclady said...

Thank you for posting about it--posted about it myself at a couple of reader forums.

Christine said...

I was just composing a post for my blog about banned book week as well. I plan on making at least two posts this week as well.

Ciara said...

My favorite banned book is either Harry Potter or Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.

orannia said...

As Stacy said, people suppress that which they fear. The thing is, as soon as you label something 'evil' (for whatever reason) and ban it, others will want to read it (humans are contrary and curious creatures :)

I've read all of the Harry Potter books, and all of Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials (HDM) trilogy and enjoyed them immensely. Reading HDM did not make me rush out and question a specific religion...but it did make me think about religion in general and it's role (and I don't think 'thinking' is a bad thing). I wish those that would ban books would realise that I have a brain and can self determine...I am not a sheep (no offence to sheep intended).


PS Why is it that when I think of banning books I always remember the photos of the Nazis burning books?

JenB said...

The most ironic banned book has to be Fahrenheit 451, which is a book about censorship. Cracks me up every time I see it on a banned list.

It's cynical laughter and not "haha" laughter, but still...funny.