September 25 – October 2 is Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating your freedom to read. Sponsored in part by the American Library Association, Banned Books Week celebrates your right to think, read and express ideas and information, according to fundamental civil rights provided by the First Amendment.
According to ALA, “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.”
Here are the Top 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009, according to the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom:
- “TTYL”; “TTFN”; “L8R, G8R” (series), by Lauren Myracle
- “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
- “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
- “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee
- Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
- “Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger
- “My Sister’s Keeper,” by Jodi Picoult
- “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things,” by Carolyn Mackler
- “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
- “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
For more information, including complete lists of classic and contemporary literature that has been banned or challenged through the years, visit ALA’s Banned Books Week website.
For more ways to integrate banned and challenged books into your personal reading, see the New York Times article “10 Ways To Celebrate Banned Books Week”.
Stop by the Academy Library and check out the Banned Books Week display, featuring titles that have been banned and/or challenged in schools and libraries across the country (thanks to Mrs. Gayken and Mrs. Nelson for the display!)