Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the Freedom to Read. This year is is being held from September 27th to October 3rd. The week highlights the value of free and open access to information and draws attentioon to the harms of censorhip.
You would be so surprised to learn about the classic children's books that have been challenged: Charlotte's Web; James and the Giant Peach; Winnie-the-Pooh; Green Eggs and Ham, and many others. More recently, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight have been challenged. Sometimes books are removed from school libraries and classrooms. Some people think the author of Captain Underpants is the most dangerous man in America! I just read about a young adult novel, Into the River, that just this month was removed from all bookstores, libraries, and schools in New Zealand. It is okay to own a personal copy, but even loaning it to a friend can lead to a $10,000 fine!
You can see how important it is to be aware of censorship and to celebrate our Freedom to Read.
While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.