Some of my favorite books have been challenged or banned by school districts. The classics The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, even more modern books like Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie have been challenged. While I don’t think every person needs to read every book out there, I believe that they should be available for the ones who would benefit from them. We need the freedom to read the books we choose, without censorship.
That’s why I’m glad to see that the Banned Books Week Coalition is celebrating the freedom to read in this year’s Banned Book Week, September 25-October 1. “The Banned Books Week Coalition is a national alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship. The 2016 celebration will be held September 25-October 1. In addition to our sponsors, Banned Books Week received generous support from Penguin Random House and DKT Liberty Project.
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. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association.” See more at www.bannedbooksweek.org/about. You can follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek and Twitter at @BannedBooksWeek.
And here’s the link for the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom blog: http://www.oif.ala.org/oif/. Several prominent authors will be featured throughout the week.
Please read the book of your choice this week, and beyond!