Banned Books Week

Officially runs from September 29th through October 6th, 2007

Banned Books week celebrates our freedom to read and reminds us not to take our freedoms for granted. According to the ALA:

BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

Many books have been challenged or banned over the years based on their content in order to protect children from what others consider objectionable material. Who determines what is objectionable? Many different people and groups have attempted and continue to try to get anything that does not agree with their own beliefs banned. Anyone can object to a book and file a challenge to it thereby having it removed from libraries or curriculum. A challenge is a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of the content or appropriateness. For more information on Banned books go to the American Library Associations website.

The following is a list of some of the books have been banned or challenged over the years.

  • The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
  • Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  • All the Kings Men by Robert Penn Warren
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • Ulysses by James Joyce
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  • Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Age of Reason by Thomas Paine
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  • Candide by Voltaire
  • Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
I was very surprised the first time I saw this list...shocked in fact at the number of classics that have been challenged or banned. So pick up a banned book and read it this week in honor of BANNED BOOKS WEEK.

I haven't decided which one to read because they all look interesting. So, will be dropping by the book store to browse and consider and browse and pick up one or two or three.


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