Congratulations! We have just arrived into Banned Books Week, an ALA (American Libraries Associations) that celebrates not only what we do best, read, but also the freedom to seek out and absorb knowledge, no matter how controversial and unorthodox it would appear. Since this event began in 1982, over 11,300 books have been challenged. You have to be amazed at the attempts that were made to remove books that represented or related to any form of contemporary life.
All across the country, bookstores and libraries alike are celebrating this book lovers’ event. Libraries and bookstores a like are celebrating our freedom to read and with “unprecedented attacks on civil liberties“, we need this week more than ever.
Here are some books that have been frequently challenged over the years:
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
- A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Forever by Judy Blume
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (newly challenged in 2016)
- Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan (newly challenged in 2016)
- This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki (newly challenged in 2016)
- Drama by Raina Telgemeier (newly challenged in 2016)
- Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread by Chuck Palahniuk (newly challenged in 2016)
Books allow us to travel worlds, explore different cultures, and widen our minds to the farthest horizon. Our freedom to read does not contain asterisk with the fine print at the bottom of the page listing all of the restrictions that comes with it. We may not like what some of the things challenged books have to say and that is our right. But we can’t prevent others learning from them.
Check out a full list of books that have been either banned or challenged in the past few years, courtesy of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom: