As another blogger so eloquently put it, we are actually not celebrating Banned Books Week. We're observing it from Sept. 27-Oct. 4. We are celebrating the Right to Read.
In 2006, the American Library Association observed the 25th anniversary of Banned Books Week. At that time, they compiled a list of the most challenged books of the first five years of the 21st century. The 10 most challenged books are:
1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
2. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
3. Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
4. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
5. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
6. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
7. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
8. Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz
9. Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey
10. Forever by Judy Blume
According to the ALA, "There were more than 3,000 attempts to remove books from schools and public libraries between 2000 and 2005. Challenges are defined as formal, written complaints filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness."
As a reader, I object when anyone tries to tell me what I can't or shouldn't read. As a librarian, I recommend that parents supervise their children's reading. Know what your children read, but it's not your place to tell other children what they should or shouldn't read. On the other hand, authors probably love it when their books are challenged or banned. It stirs up interest in the book, and sales usually increase after a book is challenged. Controversy sells!
Have you read a banned book this year? Challenge yourself to read a banned book!