Lifestyle & Belief

Banned Book Week celebrates 30th anniversary


From September 30 to October 6 marks the 30th anniversary of Banned Book Week. Celebrate by picking up a copy of 'To Kill a Mockingbird', one of the most frequently contested books of the last 30 years.



Want to be a little rebellious this week? Then pick up a book, a banned book that is. 

This week marks the 30th anniversary of Banned Book Week, an annual celebration of banned books sponsored by the American Library Association and other groups fighting censorship.

In a statement the American Library Association said, "Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular."

The celebration of banned books began in 1982 following a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books.  

According to the ALA's banned book timeline, the book that started a reading revolution was Slaughterhouse-Five.

"In 1982, a sharply divided Supreme Court found that students’ First Amendment rights were violated when Slaughterhouse-Five and 8 other titles were removed from junior and senior high school libraries. The Island Trees (NY) School District School Board removed the books in 1976 because they were 'anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic and just plain filthy.'"

Following a court case, the book was allowed back on shelves. The court found that, "local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books."

Which banned book are you going to pick up this week? Here is the ALA's list of the most frequently challenged books of 2011:

1) ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

2) The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
Nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

3) The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
Anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence

4) My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
Nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

5) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

6) Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint

7) Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit

 What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
Nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit

9) Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
Drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit

10) To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Offensive language; racism