Sunday, September 22, 2013

Reading Rebels- Celebrate Banned Books Week 2013

"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. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.    
Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. 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. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.
Please visit the Banned Books Week website at for information regarding Banned Books Week events taking place in your community" -Taken from (the American Library Association) 

It's Banned Book Week across America, and it's time to celebrate banned books for everyone, and the freedom to read whatever we see fit. It's up to you to prove to everyone that reading is a right and freedom that you hold in your hands. Read your banned books with pride, you reading rebels! 

Here is a list of the banned books that I feel are the most wronged, most likely because I have read or owned them, and I disagree with their position on the Banned Books list. 

  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    Reason: offensive language
  2. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
    Reasons: occult/Satanism, offensive language, violence
  3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit 
  4. The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
    Reason: religious viewpoint 
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    Reason: racism
  6. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group
  7. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
    Reasons: religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  10. Crank, by Ellen Hopkins. Reasons: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit
  11. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence
  12. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  13. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  14. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group

    There is many more, of course, and you can see the full list here

    I understand that these books may contain themes that seem inappropriate, but that should be up to the reader. If the reader feels uncomfortable while reading a novel, such as Fifty Shades of Gray, per say, than it should be up to them to stop reading. And I also point out that several of the novels above are contemporary novels, and it is in their nature to mention sex, suicide, abuse, drug and alcohol problems, language, etc. because they are based off real life. If you want the contemporary novels to get more subtle and 'safer,' then why don't you naysayers try and change the world first, because all these authors are doing is writing down what they see in the world. If you want your children to read a contemporary novel in which everything is fine and dandy with the characters and the world is perfect, then... Exactly. It's just not going to happen. So quit trying to limit us mature readers to your fake view of the world. Welcome back to reality.

    Now, stepping off my soapbox here, I believe it is time to read freely and support your banned books and show your banned books pride! This week, I am going to make it my mission to read more about banned books, and maybe every attempt to read a few! 

    Tell me in the comments below, what banned books have you read or owned that you still love, despite their banned status?

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