This week (September 30 – October 6) is designated as “Banned Books Week” by the American Library Association. While there is no official list of banned books, there is a list of commonly challenged books. The ALA tracks challenges to books and lists them, but libraries are not forced to remove any books from their shelves.
Join thousands of readers celebrating this week by reading a book or two from this list. To see a list of the commonly challenged books from the last twenty years, click here. Or if classics are more your style, there are plenty of challenged classics as well. See a list of challenged classics here. There some great books on both lists, and it is very likely you have read a number of books on the list already. Some of the most recent books added to the list includes Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Bridge to Terabithia. Some classic books on this list include: The Great Gatsby, The Catcher and the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, The Jungle, and Gone with the Wind.
In an effort to fight censorship and promote freedom, I encourage readers to read a book from this list that they are comfortable with. I find it disturbing that a few complaints can cause a library or store to remove a books from the shelves. Just because I do not like a book, or find it offensive, does not mean I want it removed from the shelves. Everyone has different preferences, and that should be respected. If you do not like a book, don’t read it. So, pick up a book from this list that you are comfortable with, after all, you have the freedom to read whatever you want.