One of my favorite weeks to get behind each year is Banned Book Week. I love discussing banned books because many people have no idea what consists of a banned or challenged book.
The American Library Association promotes the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinions even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular, and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those viewpoints to all who wish to read them. The following is a list of frequently asked questions on banned and challenged books:
What is the difference between a challenge or banning?
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. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. Due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection.
I have never said that every banned book is one I want to read – but I do like my freedom to choose. Some of the more interesting (to me) banned books would be pretty much all of your classics:
To Kill A Mockingbird: It was banned because it had the “N” word in it 48 times out of 281 pages. It was banned because of its racist implications toward the government. Many people denied being racist, so this novel was the key to helping racism getting acknowledged. Also book reviewers said the information was wrong and that the court system she had written about was wrong, they believed the court system was fair.
The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn: It has always centered around the language of the book, although the “offending” language has changed in time. Originally, some people objected such “crude” words as “sweat.” They claim that perspiration was much less offensive and should have been used instead. Also, in 1902, the Brooklyn Public Library found offense with the novel because of the statement that “Huck not only itched but he scratched.”
Fahrenheit 451: banned for the book being about the burning (or banning) of books. No kidding.
The list goes on and on from Little Red Riding Hood, to Harry Potter, to Lord Of The Rings, To Charlotte’s Web, to Captain Underpants, to Hunger Games, to The Bible. If you are interested check out the list here to get a real feel for the books that have been banned or challenged over the years.
As in the past years, I will be hosting a Banned Book Event here at Book Journey and I would be thrilled if you would join me by writing a post during the week about a banned book you have read, about censorship…. This year will have a twist to it. I am going to be on a 7 day canoe and portage trip during banned book week and will be out of all computer and cell phone range. I hate to not do banned book week because I think it is an important week to share in the books we love that are challenged and banned each year – SO…. I am planning to run the Banned Book event a week early from September 15 through September 21. If you are interested in participating please fill out the short form below by this Saturday September 14th and I will be in contact with you to confirm your date. If you do not have a blog and wish to participate you can write a guest post and send it to me to be posted here. I hope we can once again make this a fun and educational Banned Book Week! If you need some ideas, here is a list of some of the banned/challenged books.
As a little bonus – I have two Banned Book Mugs I will be giving away – one to a blogger who writes a post and one to one of the comments on the posts during the week. I encourage you as well, if you can to have a giveaway on your blog.