Banned Books Week

It’s Banned Books Week and so I’ll be having that theme all week long. I love books. Books took me places I’d never imagined as a child, they still do today. I’m so lucky to be able to write them and even luckier that people want to read them. My books contain sexual themes and other themes that can be controversial like witchcraft and other paranormal storylines. The freedom to think and feel what you wish is also the freedom to let others do so. Censorship takes that freedom away and makes the censor the person in control of what you or I think, feel and read. That isn’t what this country is about. There are lots of things I don’t like or agree with. I don’t read those books. It’s a simple thing really.

The American Library Association holds Banned Books Week every year in the last week of September. This is their twenty fifth year doing this.

How can you fight censorship and keep books available at your library? The ALA has a great list of things here at their website.

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.

A worthy celebration, no?

The top 10 most challenged books for 2005 were:

The “10 Most Challenged Books of 2005” reflect a range of themes. The books are:

  • “It’s Perfectly Normal” for homosexuality, nudity, sex education, religious viewpoint, abortion and being unsuited to age group;
  • “Forever” by Judy Blume for sexual content and offensive language;
  • “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger for sexual content, offensive language and being unsuited to age group;
  • “The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier for sexual content and offensive language;
  • “Whale Talk” by Chris Crutcher for racism and offensive language;
  • “Detour for Emmy” by Marilyn Reynolds for sexual content;
  • “What My Mother Doesn’t Know” by Sonya Sones for sexual content and being unsuited to age group;
  • Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey for anti-family content, being unsuited to age group and violence;
  • “Crazy Lady!” by Jane Leslie Conly for offensive language; and
  • “It’s So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families” by Robie H. Harris for sex education and sexual content.
  • 3 comments to “Banned Books Week”

    1. Lori
      September 24th, 2006 at 8:11 pm · Link

      OMG, I LOVED Forever when I was a girl!!!

      And, although I must admit that Captain Underpants doesn’t do a whole hell of a lot for me personally… my younger son, who is not a bookworm, will sit and R.E.A.D. these books for hours on end. I personally think Dav Pilkey is fantastic. If you haven’t ever read Dogzilla and have little kids, run and get it. It’s hilarious!!!

    2. Christine
      September 25th, 2006 at 10:26 am · Link

      Absolutely amazing that in 2006 we are talking about banning books. I read Forever when I was about 13 and Catcher in the Rye when I was 17. I can’t reflect about the otherbooks. I would have no problem with my daughter who is 14 reading Forver. It was a sweet book about a young girl’s first sexual experience. No one tackles these issues better than Judy Blume. Considering what is available to read I would consider this book PG. Catcher in the Rye is a classic. Let’s face it if you don’t like teh book don’t read it. And if you don’t want your kids reading books that you feel are inappropriate then monitor what they read yourself and stop leaving it up to others

    3. N.J. Walters
      September 25th, 2006 at 5:34 pm · Link

      It’s shocking that in this day and age people are still talking about banning books. You might as well ask people to stop thinking.

      The thing is, we have freedom of speech on this side of the world and people don’t have to read anything they find offensive. I don’t want anyone else making those decisions for me. If there is a book I don’t like, I simply won’t read it. I wish others would just do the same.