Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Banned Books Week

I almost forgot we're in the middle of Banned Books Week (Sept. 29-Oct. 6). It’s not every day you can stand up for freedom by reading a book. But by reading a banned or challenged book this week, you are standing up against the thought police and supporting one of our most precious freedom: the right to read and think what we choose.
First observed in 1982, Banned Books Week reminds Americans not to take this essential democratic freedom for granted. The event is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Library of Congress Center for the Book.
Half of the challenges were based on sexual explicitness or the use of “offensive language.” According to the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, of the 6,364 challenges to books in the decade from 1990-2000, 1,607 were based on “sexually explicit” material, 1,427 were because of the use of “offensive language,” 842 were because of the inclusion of “Occult theme…or Satanism,” and 515 were challenged due to homosexual themes. A challenge is an attempt to remove materials from libraries or bookstores or otherwise restrict access to them, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the actual removal of those materials. Among the top ten most challenged author between 1990 and 2004 are Steven King, J.K. Rowling, Maya Angelou, R.L. Stine, Judy Blume and John Steinbeck.

What's your favorite banned or challenged book?

1 comment:

groovygrrl said...

Gosh, I guess my favorites would have to be all the Harry Potters. When I was a kid, it was Judy Blume and Stephen King. I don't read much Steinbeck, but Of Mice and Men is a favorite.

I guess I'm well-read. ;)


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