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
(Click here to see why these books were challenged.)
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.
Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Association of College Stores. Banned Books Week is also endorsed by the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress.
Thank you for celebrating Banned Books Week!
The freedom to read what you want is, to Doctor Zombie, as precious and essential as any of the other freedoms afforded by the Bill of Rights. And I am absolutley horrified that - even today - there are still close-minded, evil, bastards out there who somehow feel it is their right to judge literature and tell others what they can and can't read.
It's similar to a situation a friend related to me recently. 5th grade - at least here in Ohio - is when they have 'the talk' with kids. The sex talk. They have a health class where they talk about how teen pregnancies occur and how best to avoid the whole situation. I should note that abstinence is taught, but not to the exclusion of other forms of birth control and STD prevention. The thing is - because it's not abstinence only education - there's still a percentage of parents who refuse to allow their children to attend the class.
In my mind - this borders on parental negligence. It's like those numbfucks who refuse to have their children immunized and then blithely send their infectious progeny off to school with no regard for herd immunity.
And it's these same morons who feel that Huckleberry Finn is just as dangerous as it apparently was in the 1950's.
I blame the legacy of King George Bush II administration. If that big-eared, c-student, fundie grotesquerie hadn't encouraged the other Fundies... maybe we wouldn't STILL HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ASSHOLES TRYING TO BURN BOOKS.
Dude... it's the 21st century. Is our country ever going to be mature enough to look at literature as the gift it is; and not the devil's work?!?
So, in celebration of Banned Book Week, please take a moment to go to the website and read (or re-read) at least one of the books on the list.
Intellect freedom should never be surrendered to the evil of small-mindedness and moral ignorance.
Reading is freedom. Read.