September is the Time to Celebrate Banned Books Week
Each year the American Library Association celebrates Banned Books Week, which is an event held to celebrate the freedom to read. This year, Banned Books Week was held from September 21-27. The week highlights the value of free and open access to all types of information. The entire book community, which is comprised of librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers and readers, comes together to share support of the freedom to seek and express ideas.
Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harmfulness of censorship. In order to do this, the week focuses on efforts to enable access to books that have been restricted. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While some books have been banned, and continue to be, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that many of them have remained widely available.
The American Library Association differentiates between challenged books and banned books. A challenged book is one that has been attempted to be removed or restricted due to its material. Books usually are challenged because individuals want to protect others, frequently children and adolescents, from the difficult ideas or information presented in them. A banned book is the actual removal of those materials. Content like offensive language, sexual implications, and violence are three common reasons why people try to ban books.
The top ten frequently challenged books of 2013 are as follows:
The “Captain Underpants” Series
“The Bluest Eye”
“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”
“Fifty Shades of Grey”
“The Hunger Games”
“A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl”
“Looking for Alaska”
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
“Bless Me Ultima”
“The Bone Series”