This week we celebrate Banned Books Week. According to the American Library Association (ALA), this annual event that takes place during the last week of September, celebrates, "the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment."
Those books featured during Banned Books Week have been the targets of attempted banning. Thanks to the efforts of teachers, librarians,booksellers and concerned citizens, many books that were targeted have not been banned or restricted.
It might surprise you to find some of your favorite books on the list. Classics such as The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone With the Wind, The Call of the Wild, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest have all been targets. Did you know Charlotte's Web was a target on more than one occasion? In 2002, the ALA listed the Captain Underpants books as the sixth most challenged. The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the ALA's Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009.
In honor of Banned Books Week, readers are being encouraged to hold a virtual read-out. Everyone is invited to create a video of themselves reading from their favorite banned or challenged book and upload it to a special Banned Books Week channel.
More information on the virtual read-out and Banned Books Week can be found at www.bannedbooksweek.org/.