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Are you Free to Read? Banned Books Week is September 30- October 6

Posted on September 29th, 2012 by Mickie.
Categories: Books.

Banned Books Week is upon us! But why should you care? Everyone should care about book banning or, more commonly, book challenges. What am I talking about? Here is how The American Library Association explains it:

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. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.

Choosing what to read is a personal thing and if you are a teen–personal decisions may still involve discussion with your parents, your religious leader, your friends, your teachers or anyone else whom you look to for guidance. Most librarians take your freedom to read really seriously–that is why we celebrate Banned Books Week. It is a way to bring awareness to issues of censorship and have community discussions about books and why every citizen should value his or her freedom to read them.

You might be surprised by which books have been challenged or banned–often they are considered classics! Frankly, once I hear that a book has been banned, I can’t WAIT to read it! Can you name these famously banned books by their descriptions?  Give me your answers in the comments and be entered to win a signed copy of Ship Breaker by Paulo Bacigalupi. It hasn’t been challenged that I know of…it is just a wicked good book!!

Mystery Banned Book Number 1

This book is about a girl who risks her life to save her sister’s in a television program gone mad. Reasons Banned: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence

Mystery Banned Book Number 2

This book about an African-American woman living in 1930s Georgia won a Pulitzer Prize and is a frequent class pick for honors level English. Reasons Banned: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit.

Mystery Banned Book Number 3

The book is about a crime fighter with an unorthodox sense of style. Reasons Banned: anti-family content, sexual content, unsuited to age group, violence

Mystery Banned Book Number 4

In this book about a road trip before cars were invented, two unlikely friends make discoveries and question assumptions while enjoying the scenery of Middle America. Reasons Banned: offensive language, racism

Mystery Banned Book Number 5

This book is about a neglected orphan trying to make friends at a new school while trying to unravel the secrets of his mysterious past and his parents’ deaths. Reasons banned: Occultism, Satanism, violence, anti-family