FRC: Read a Banned Book

Our featured  category this week is “Read a Banned Book”. Coincidentally (not really), it is Banned Books Week.

When it comes to Banned and Challenged Books, the ALA (American Library Association) has long been the main source for information. So, what is Banned Books Week all about?

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information….By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Check out the frequently challenged books section to explore the issues and controversies around book challenges and book banning. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

Many books contain content objectionable to someone. It is when an effort is made to restrict access or remove altogether material a person or group finds objectionable that a book is considered challenged. Books ranging from “Harry Potter” to the Bible have all been challenged in recent years.

For the purposes of the Fall Reading Challenge, any banned or challenged book is eligible, and the ALA helpfully provides many lists.

My selection: So many to choose from, sadly. As it happened, I had a gift copy of “Of Mice and Men” sitting on my desk. I opened it up randomly to a page with a bad word on it, and thought, “I bet someone tried to ban this”. Sure enough, and just in the past few years. 

Coming up: October will be full of mystery, scares, and dystopias!