Banned Books Week. 21-27 September.


“[I]t’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.”Judy Blume

banned books week 2014 2

This week is Banned Books Week.  Initiated by the American Library Association, it is a chance to celebrate the freedom to read each September by drawing attention to the issue of censorship. Many public and school libraries in the US (and elsewhere) champion the vast range of literature that has been banned and/or challenged by over-eager legislators and officials.

30 years of banned books timeline

banned books week 2014 6

The situation in Australia has thankfully been much more liberal with many fewer instances of this kind of attempted thought control. The last literary work to be actually banned in Australia was American Psycho, by Brett Easton Ellis way back in 1990. It is only available to over 18s in most states and still effectively banned in Queensland. Click on the links below for a story about the history of Literary Censorship in Australia and elsewhere.

Aussie banned books  UniMelb Banned Books Ex

In the U.S. Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2014 celebration will be held September 21-27.

airship  144 books banned and the reasons why

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 307 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2013, and many more go unreported. The 10 most challenged titles of 2013 were:

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
    Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence

banned books week 2014 5  banned books week 2014 3

For more information on Banned Books Week, click here.

For some excellent quotes about Censorship click on the links below:

censorship goodreads  brainy quotes

 

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