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Banned Books Week

“Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads.”     George Bernard Shaw

The police tape surrounding a book display in my local library was effective; it drew me right to those banned books.  The American Library Association is sponsoring Banned Books Week from September 25th through October 1st, and encouraging everyone to read a book that has been challenged or banned somewhere.  Not hard to do – you’ve probably already read a few – Shakespeare has been banned, along with Mark Twain’s books.

The librarian had a list of some of the challenged books in my library system. (According to the ALA, a challenge is an attempt to remove 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 – most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection.)

All these challenged books are still on my library’s shelves:

  • The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Forever in Blue, the Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
  • Go Ask Alice
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Gossip Girl series by Cecily VonZiegesar
  • Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  • His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
  • And many more…

I picked out a young adult book that has been banned elsewhere and challenged here – The Earth, My Butt, and Other Round Things – the title appealed to me.

“There is no such thing as a moral book or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all.”              Oscar Wilde

The ALA has a list of the top ten books by year at  ALA List of Banned Books.    How many have you read?

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