This year marks the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, which takes place Sept. 30 to Oct. 6. I love reading-themed events, so naturally Banned Books Week is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s a full week to celebrate the essential liberties that librarians defend for us all year long: access to information and freedom to read. The sponsors of Banned Books Week have created several amazing, interactive tools to demonstrate censorship in action over the last 30 years and to help readers discover challenged titles and the stories behind them. Don’t miss Mapping Censorship , ALA’s Timeline and Virtual Read-Out.
For me, Banned Books Week is all about finding time to read inspiring books that have been taken out of context or misunderstood. My first step is always to take a look at the newly updated list of the most frequently challenged or banned books, compiled by the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, and mentally check off each one that I’ve already tackled. I’m consistently surprised to find that I’ve been inadvertently reading banned books all year anyway.
Does your digital collection contain any of the most frequently challenged or banned books from the last decade?
- 2011: “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
- 2010: “Crank” by Ellen Hopkins
- 2009: “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker
- 2008: “The Golden Compass” by Philip Pullman
- 2007: “Olive’s Ocean” by Kevin Henkes
- 2006: “Gossip Girl” by Cecily von Ziegasar
- 2005: “Whale Talk” by Chris Crutcher
- 2004: “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou
- 2003: “Harry Potter” (series) by J.K. Rowling
- 2002: “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
- 2001: “The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier
Heather Valentine-Gold is a Library Partner Services Account Associate at OverDrive.
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