Banned Books Week is approaching again! Banned Books Week is an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read, and this year it’s September 22-28. There are many reasons why a book might be challenged or banned by some organizations. The Banned Books Week Coalition is a cooperative effort between various organizations that make, distribute, and encourage the use of various types of reading materials; fight censorship, and promote peoples’ rights. To learn more, visit the American Library Association page on Banned Books.
Libraries promote the idea that everyone, everywhere, should have equal access to information from all points of view, without restriction, judgement, or censorship, and that access should be free. It is a basic right in our democratic society; we call that intellectual freedom! Just like the author of this post, Banned Books Week was born in the 1980’s during a time of challenges and protests in America, following the Supreme Court ruling in Island Trees School District v. Pico that school officials can’t ban a book just because they don’t agree with its content.
So why do we celebrate it? Books continue to be challenged and banned even today. Even so, many of the books continue to stay available to the public. Today many schools study challenged books, such as The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird. Children (and grown-ups) everywhere love the world of Harry Potter.
The number one challenged book in 2018 was George, by Alex Gino. It was banned, challenged, and relocated for a number of reasons, many of which were focused on sexual content and/or transgender issues described in the book.
Are you ready to read a previously banned or challenged book? We have a list! Be a rebel and check one out!