September 27 to October 4, 2008 is Banned Book Week.
What is Banned Book Week?
Taken from the Banned Book Week Organization Website:
Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read!
"Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982. The challenges have occurred in every state and in hundreds of communities. People challenge books that they say are too sexual or too violent. They object to profanity and slang, and protest against offensive portrayals of racial or religious groups--or positive portrayals of homosexuals. Their targets range from books that explore the latest problems to classic and beloved works of American literature."
Check out more information at http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/
Why is Banned Book Week important?
Intellectual freedom must be maintained as a basic human right. No one should have the right to tell someone else what they can and cannot read. That is a right every adult should have. Parents have the right to make those choices for their children without someone else telling them it is wrong. It is a personal choice.
Here's a small sampling of some of books that have been challenged and/or banned:
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
And the list goes on and on and on.
While I may not want to read every book on the challenged or banned lists, I want the right to be able to do so. That means these books need to be available in libraries around the country and the world.
Show your support for Banned Book Week by picking up a book that has been challenged or banned and reading it. It's your right.