Banned Books Week starts on SATURDAY. This Saturday. It goes (this is where the week part comes in) until Saturday, October 2nd.
"What's banned books week?" I hear you saying.
Banned Books Week is a national event that celebrates your freedom to read whatever you want to read. The freedom to choose NOT to read, and the rights granted all Americans by the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Many people think that no one prohibits books anymore, but every year hundreds of books are challenged, restricted or removed from libraries nation-wide.
To see a list of all books (well, those that were reported) challenged in the last year click here.
Recently, several books have come to wide attention as people attempt, and in some cases, succeed, in removing books mostly from schools. You've probably heard of some of them:
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (find out more)
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (find out more)
- Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler (find out more)
Books can be challenged for seemingly frivolous things like they "Encourage children to break dishes so they won't have to dry them" (A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein). The original version of Where's Waldo had a small topless sunbather on one of their pages, so that created quite a fuss back in the early 90's (article) .
They can also be challenged with much more serious accusations, such as the above Speak being accused of being "soft pornography" because the main character was raped.
What are you going to do to support the freedom to read during Banned Books Week? Will you read one of the challenged books? Will you participate in the Lynnwood Library Banned Books Week Scavenger Hunt for a chance at the $20 to B&N? *end shameless plug* Will you wear a t-shirt (I'll be sporting this one). Will you send a letter to one of people who are challenging a book?
Comment with what you'll do to celebrate your freedom to read by midnight on October 2nd, and one commenter will win the oft-challenged Gail Giles's new book Dark Song.*
*Winner must be in grades 6-12 and able to pick up their winnings at one of the 21 Sno-Isle Libraries.