Banned Books Week--September 26-October 3

Happy banned book week!

Did you know that every year books are banned from schools and libraries? Banned Book week celebrates intellectual freedom and the right we have to have access to all books--including ones that might be "objectionable" for whatever reason. It also draws attention to the fact that even in this day and age books are banned and censored in communities across the United States. Censorship is harmful and we have the right to access all opintions and ideas, not just the popular ones.

fortunately, most challenged books are not banned thanks to the hard work of librarians, booksellers, teachers, and community members who work to make sure that everyone can read what they wish.

According to the American Library Association the top ten most challenged books for 2008 (out of 513) are:

1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
2. His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence
3. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R(series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
4. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons:occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, and violence
5. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons:occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, and violence
6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group
7. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
8. Uncle Bobby's Wedding,by Sarah S. Brannen
Reasons: homosexuality and unsuited to age group
9. The Kite Runner,by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
10. Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group

Here's also a list of challenged and banned classics. How many of these have you read? How many of these do you own?

There are many ways to celebrate banned book week -- go buy a banned book or three or check them out of the library, read them allowed to your family, co-workers, or whoever will listed, attend an event or reading (or plan one for next year), help your library make a display of challenged books, teachers can talk about censorship and have their students draw a picture of what book they would save if all the books were being burned and they could only save one (and why). There are many more ideas here from the good people over at Banned Books Week

Did you know The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells has been banned and challenged? What about Winnie-the-Poohby A. A. Milne?

What are your favorite banned books?

Exercise Your First Amendment Rights - Read a Banned Book!

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