Banned Books Week 2010, Part I

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.

Banned Books Week 2010 Poster

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:

Lists not your thing? Here are two rather entertaining videos about book banning and censorship:

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?

Join the Conversation


  1. I can’t speak for the others you’ve listed but banning Harry Potter is… ridiculous. I know why it was done but still can’t understand how people thought it necessary. I remember issues with books at school but not recently. And I wasn’t aware of the celebration for this week so I’ll read your posts to get an idea. It sounds a good thing to follow.

    1. It’s amazing, some of the books that have been challenged! Some of them I can understand at least what people are objecting to, even if I don’t agree that they should be completely banned. But yeah…Harry Potter? Crazy.

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