It's that time of year again to celebrate the freedom to read, also known as Banned Books Week.
In its 30th year, the week highlights “efforts to across the country to remove or restrict access to books” and “draws national attention to the harms of censorship,” according to the American Library Association.
Classics such as “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee and “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker appear right along with current best sellers like “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky.
Challenges often come from parents and citizens, citing sexual content, depictions of minorities, violence and profanity. In 2011, the American Library Association reported at 326, but it estimates 70 to 80 percent of challenges are never reported. In many cases, the books remain available, but the week celebrates both challenged and banned books.
Find out more and see lists of challenged books at www.bannedbooksweek.org and www.ala.org/advocacy/banned.
CHALLENGED BOOKS FROM VANESSA'S READING LIST
- “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck: Banned in Kern County, Calif., the scene of the novel, in 1939.
- “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee: Removed from the Southwood High School Library in Caddo Parish, La., in 1995 because the book's language and content were objectionable.
- “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger: Removed by a Dorchester District 2 school board member in Summerville, S.C., in 2001 because it “is a filthy, filthy book.”
Source: American Library Association
ON THE WEB
- TIMELINE: Take a closer look at banned books with an interactive timeline at tinyurl.com/bookstimeline