Banned Books Week 2012

September 30 – October 6, 2012

“Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads.” — George Bernard Shaw

Banned Books Week is a nation-wide celebration of our freedom to read.  Bookstores and Libraries around the country will be creating displays and hosting events to draw attention to the ongoing battle against censorship.

According to the American Library Association, more than 11,300 books have been challenged in bookstores, libraries, and schools in the thirty years since Banned Books Week was launched in 1982.  Last year 326 challenges were reported to the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and it is believed that many more challenges go unreported each year.

The 10 most challenged titles of 2011 were:

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
  4. My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
  8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language; racism

The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis will be marking the week in a very unique manner – writer and editor Corey Michael Dalton will set up house in the front window of the library and live on display for the entire week!  This protest / live art installation, titled “Locked up with Vonnegut,” is meant to draw attention to ban of Vonnegut’s masterpiece “Slaughterhouse Five” by a Missouri school system.  Corey is promising that his time at the library will be broadcast via webcam as well.

The Huffington Post has a great article on the most surprising books to be banned.

The ACLU has comics, blogs, videos, and audio about censorship and banned books.

Check out this video of celebrities and authors discussing what banned book they are reading.

For more info about Banned Books Week and how you can participate, go to www.bannedbooksweek.org

or www.ala.org/advocacy/banned/bannedbooksweek.

 

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