Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Banned Books Week!

Celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week.

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 2013 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 22-28.  Banned Books Week 2014 will be held September 21-27.

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. For more information on Banned Books Week, click here. According to the American Library Association, there were 464 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2012, and many more go unreported.
Looking for ways to observe Banned Books Week? Check out the American Library Association's Schedule of Events for Banned Books Week 2013 to see what the organization has going on, including Google hangouts with authors, the Banned Books Week 2013 Twitter Party and virtual read-outs.

Wondering what books are challenged or banned? Check out ALA's page on Frequently Challenged Books, which includes this awesome timeline of the past 30 years of banned books, the list of banned and challenged classics, the list of frequently challenged books of the 21st century, the list of 100 most frequently challenged books by decade, and more. Seriously, you could spend all of Banned Books Week just making a list of books you will want to read.

My favorite banned or challenged book is "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. What's yours?

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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