Every year, thousands of books are challenged or banned in public, private and school libraries. To show pride for all forms of literature, the American Library Association (ALA) celebrates Banned Book Week to counter all the challenged and banned literature.
This week, September 25th-October 1st, commemorates both classic and modern books that have been challenged. Childhood favorites such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Bridge to Terabithia, and James and the Giant Peach, as well as modern books like all of the Harry Potter series (which is actually the MOST challenged of them all!) and The City of Ember are features on the lists. Adult books do not escape censorship despite their audience.
Some of our favorite challenged young adult/adult books are:
- The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
- The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
- Slaughterhouse- Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The ALA’s goal in celebrating Banned Book Week is, “promoting the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinions even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those viewpoints to all who wish to read them.” –American Library Association.
To see lists by year, author, or most frequently challenged; visit the ALA site and browse for your favorites!
As these wise men said:
To choose a good book, look in an inquisitor’s prohibited list. ~John Aikin
“Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.”—Alfred Whitney Griswold, Essays on Education
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