Monday, May 31, 2010

Let's Celebrate Banned Books Week!

I know I'll probably get lots of criticism for this, but I've decided I want to celebrate Banned Books Week this year. This is promoted by the American Library Association in order to "celebrate the freedom to read". Here is more from their website:

"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."

I want to celebrate this week in 2010 (September 25 - October 2) by reading during that week a book that has been banned. I haven't decided yet what I'm going to read, but it will probably be one of the "milder" ones (maybe Huckleberry Finn, Of Mice and Men, or Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry). Then I will write a review, adding my thoughts on the banning of that book.

I don't think anyone has the right to ban a book and prevent others from reading it if they want. I am talking about adults here. It is a different matter with children. However, I do not want others deciding for me as a parent what my children can or cannot read. That is my job. (Actually, I was surprised to see one of my favorite books for young people, The Giver by Lois Lowry, on a banned books list. I want my children to read that one!)  

Who wants to join me? Please leave a comment. I'd love to see other readers and bloggers read banned books and let each other know what we think about the books we read.

What do you think about book banning? Should we have the freedom to read whatever we want? If we should restrict what our children read, who should decide? The teachers? The parents? The community? I'd love to hear your opinions (keep them polite and clean, please!). Join in on the discussion by leaving a comment.


ham1299 said...

What a great idea! A group of friends of mine and I try to do this (minus the review-writing part) each year. Do you have resources you can share? Where can I find a list? Do they have reasons for the banning and/or challenging of said books?

Judylynn said...

Thanks for your questions. I will write more about this later today and answer them.

Judy, Seize the Book Blog

Carina said...

I will definitely join in on this with you! I'm actually reading 10 banned books this year as part of the 1010 challenge (10 books in 10 categories, chosen individually). :-)