It’s Banned Books Week! A yearly commemoration of all the books that are challenged or banned.
Every year, when this week comes by I remind myself to be grateful for the people who fight the good fight, to make sure books (fiction and non-fiction) are not banned from the people who need them the most.
Banned Books Week – A week celebrating the freedom to read and highlight the problems with book censorship.
One thing I love about Banned Books Week is the book displays that pop up at libraries and bookstores.
The displays literally scream at you to “READ ME”. They’re fun and some organizations get so creative, it’s inspiring.
Another thing I enjoy about Banned Books Week is seeing the banned or challenged books and counting how many I’ve read and learning why they were banned or challenged. So, let’s take a look at a few titles that have been challenged and why.
Included in the top ten most challenged books last year was The Holy Bible. Why? Because of religious viewpoint. How outrageous is that? It’s not because of the violence or sexual references, but “religious viewpoint”. Sheesh.
John Green’s Looking For Alaska was challenged most often in 2015 because of offensive language, is sexually explicit, contains references and usage of drugs/alcohol/smoking.
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan is a frequently challenged book as well. Why? Because of homosexuality and (my favorite) “condones” public displays of affection.
This one surprised me. Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street is challenged because it promotes the overthrow of the government.
This one may be my favorite – Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park. Even little Junie B. Jones is challenged. Why? Apparently, this book contains poor social values, lacks good role models, has mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar.
Here are some other books that have been challenged:
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl written by Anne Frank
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- Goosebumps (series) by R.L. Stine
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
And if you can’t get enough of banned books and want to learn more. Check out these sites:
- Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read @ ALA
- Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books 2000-2009 @ ALA
- Banned Books #IReadBannedBooks @ ACLU
- Which Banned or Challenged Book Will You Read This Fall? @ Penguin Random House
How many of the books listed above have you read? There are literally hundreds of books that have been banned or challenged. Are there any titles you might pick up this week?