This week is Banned Books Week! This is an annual event where the book community celebrates the freedom to read and rallies against censorship. According to the event’s official website:
Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 311 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2014, and many more go unreported.
Many libraries and bookstore will be hosting events and showcasing special displays of books that have been challenged in the past. The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom defines a challenges as “a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.”
Some of the titles are surprising and include many well-loved classics. Both Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham were on this list from Encyclopedia Britannica.
There are a number of resources available with information about books which have been banned. Infodocket has a list of resources here to start you out. You can also follow the topic on social media using the hashtag #BannedBooksWeek.
Ironically, so many of my personal favorites have been challenged at one time or another. I was thinking of re-reading Daniel Keyes classic, Flowers for Algernon. What about you? Do you have a favorite banned book?