Today and tomorrow I will be moving and most likely internet-less, so I’ll take these days to post a bit about Banned Book Week, which starts on Saturday, and my plans for it.
Banned Books Week has been happening annually since 1982. As the ALA’s website puts it, BBW is all about “celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.” It’s about freedom of information and ideas, the right to express yourself, the right to have access to what you want to read regardless of other people’s views.
Some of my favorite classics have been banned or challenged: Lolita, Their Eyes Were Watching God, To Kill a Mockingbird. And it’s not just classics that have caused a stir — new favorites, like the Harry Potter series and Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian are under fire as well.
Here are some interesting links in honor of Banned Books Week for your browsing pleasure:
- Banned & challenged books by year (1990-2009)
- Banned & challenged books by geographical location
- Banned & challenged classics and why they were banned or challenged
Lists not your thing? Here are two rather entertaining videos about book banning and censorship:
- Jen from I Read Banned Books has linked to a video on censorship (it’s at the end of her post, which you should also read because it tells about her own experience with book banning and how her blog got its name)
- The ALA has a video of the Puppet Book Banners on their website
There are events happening all around the country in honor of Banned Books Week. If you’re interested, check out the list of events to see what’s happening near you. I plan to attend a banned books reading in my new city, which is advertised to include a banned songs sing-along in addition to the reading. I also plan to read three banned or challenged books (which I’ll talk about tomorrow). The ALA also provides a list of ways to participate.
Are you doing anything to celebrate Banned Books Week? Have you had any personal experiences with banning?