Read a Banned Book This Week


If you need a suggestion for what book to read to celebrate National Banned Books Week, this site has them.

Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982.

Oddly, according to a map posted at the site, most of the clusters of censorship have been along the Northeastern corridor and in the more “civilized” areas of the Midwest.

While some new books joined the Top Ten list of challenged books in 2009 (And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, which acknowledges homosexuality, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, which includes drug use, violence, and yes, homosexuality), plenty of old standards continue to irk…someone. These include the highly regarded classics To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

Of course, we actually don’t mind that one book series made the list. That would be Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Don’t tell my 12-year-old niece, but it’s O.K. with me if you don’t read those.