Friday, September 23, 2016

Banned books week: Celebrating diverse books and the freedom to read them

Banned Books Week Cover Art
Image by Banned Books Week Coalition
Banned Books Week has rolled around again, and unfortunately we still have the need to support it.


Why is there a Banned Books Week?

Banned Books Week started in the USA in 1982, a response to the number of school, libraries and bookstores banning certain books. 
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The official logo for Banned Books Week
Frequently books are banned, both in the USA and here for the diverse content contained challenging perceptions of difference.  Most often this means books about people and issues in relation to: gender, sexual preferences, people of colour, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities, in other words books that give diverse perspectives on what it is "to be".

Banned Books Week is about recognising that we are capable of recognising for ourselves what is suitable  to read, and giving everyone the freedom to read

The top ten most challenged classic books 

(compiled by ALA 2016)
Links to library copies are given below, many are also available in other formats (audio book, DVD, eBook)
  1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
  3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
  7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  9. 1984, by George Orwell
  10. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov

Some of the reasons given for challenging books:

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