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It's Banned Books Week!
BannedBooksWeek.orgBanned 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. 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 464 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2012, and many more go unreported.
In recognition of Banned Books Week, tell us about a challenged book you’ve read and loved.
Jessica – THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by JD Salinger is one of my all-time favorite books, and one that frequently shows up on banned and challenged lists. I will always have a special place in my heart for Holden and his filthy mouth.
Copil - Not the typical narrative but I remember reading THE ANARCHIST COOKBOOK by William Powell, Peter M. Bergman and feeling like such a rebel. The bomb recipes didn't really work (they were slightly modified so you couldn't kill yourself) and most of the stuff read like it was written by the Walter Mitty of anarchists (overwrought cloak and dagger B.S. written by someone who probably lived in the suburbs). It was never actually "banned" but effectively made hard to get by not being allowed into most bookstores and libraries. Best thing that ever happened to it.
Matt – THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie. So hilarious but also just incredibly awesome.
Katy – BLUBBER, FOREVER…, and ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET, all by Judy Blume. These books were a staple of my childhood. They showed me that I was “normal,” and taught me that a world that's real is better than a world that's idyllic.
Alison - CRANK, PERFECT, IMPULSE—pretty much anything by Ellen Hopkins.
Jaime - I haven't read all that many of the books on the Banned Books list, but I've read and loved THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins (several times) which I know has been challenged for a handful of truly ridiculous reasons.
Alexandra - Is it lazy to say Harry Potter? ;) My recent reread just intensified the fangirlness.
Leigh - Banned book... this always makes me think of HS b/c we read LOTS of banned books when I was in high school. LOL! I think every book we read was banned! Yes, my teachers were rebels. (Isn't the Bible also banned?) Anyway, banned books... HUCK FINN, SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE, SONG OF SOLOMON... I LOVED Song of Solomon, but it's Toni Morrison. Hard to go wrong there.
Erica – TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler. This is one of the best contemporary books I've ever read and I just love it. It tells a tale of grief and sadness, yet it balanced with lighter moments. Just stunning.
Your turn... We'd love to hear about a challenged book you’ve read and loved.