Lewd? Obscene? Scandalous? Perhaps, but that may be part of the reason I have loved so many of the infamous books that show up year after year on the American Library Association’s Frequently Banned and Challenged Books lists. This year I get to share my love of these titles with the world as Banned Books Week, one of the more glorious weeks in books, is upon us and this year we want you to share your favorite.
Have you read a banned or challenged book? My guess is you probably have and didn't even know it! Banned Books Week celebrates our freedom to read, seek, and express ideas of all kinds.
So what does it mean for a book to be challenged or banned? "A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials" (BBW Press Kit).
Some challenged and/or banned children's books include:
I am guilty of reading subversive literature filled to the brim with dangerous ideas and inflammatory language. I have been committing illicit acts of reading since I was a child, though my teen years were my most seditious. Yet I have never been arrested, or had to smuggle in a restricted book. I have always enjoyed the right to read freely and that is why I celebrate Banned Books Week.
This year Banned Books Week is September 22-28 and I encourage you to visit your local Denver Public Library branch and get caught reading banned books! If you have your mug shot photo taken with your favorite banned book, be sure to share it with us on the DPL facebook page.
Did you know that over 11,000 books have been challenged since Banned Books Week began in 1982? Celebrate your freedom to read and check out a banned book today!
The library enthusiastically supports an individuals freedom to choose what they read and to express their own unique opinions. Having multiple viewpoints available to you is a fundamental right that libraries work hard to protect.
What is your favorite banned book? Some famous banned books include:
Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.
Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.