Banned Books Weeks officially began on 9/25/16. When I think of a book being banned, it almost seems like an impossible idea or bad joke. This day and age, it is hard to imagine. While we have access to a glorious collection of anything imaginable and authors seem at liberty to put their pen to any use they desire, books still continue to be challenged and banned.
History tells us that story. While we may have access to more titles now than we could imagine, the list of titles that have been challenged and removed from schools, libraries and even banned by states and countries continues to grow. What was once controversial may now be known as classic, but this was not always the case. Reasons for censorship range from sexually explicit content, offensive language and violence to religious viewpoints. The list goes on and on. Sadly titles have been pulled from shelves for simply voicing opinions that go against the grain or diving into relevant topics such as sexuality that many are sadly still uncomfortable with.
There is a fantastic info-graphic available here on shortlist.com that includes a detailed history of some famous titles that have been pulled or challenged throughout the years. You can also find a large amount of additional information at the American Library Associations’s Banned Books Week page. I recommend checking the links out! You can even view challenged books in lists broken down per year. You may discover some titles you could never have possibly fathomed controversial.
It is important that we continue to acknowledge this ongoing fight with censorship. While the focus seems to continually shift towards diversity, we must always strive to break through these boundaries and promote our rights as readers and writers. To pay homage to all of the wonderful titles and authors who have ever been challenged or banned, I am sharing some of my favorites with you!
Favorite Challenged Reads
These are just a few. Many more have been challenged throughout the years. I am sure if you comb through the endless lists of banned and challenged titles you will also find many that you have read. What are some of your favorite banned books? Do you plan to read any titles this week in honor of banned books!
Cheers & Happy reading!