Sept 24-Oct 1
First launched in 1982 as a response an increase in the number of books challenged in schools, bookstores and libraries, Banned Books Week celebrates our freedom to read. Every year, during the last week of September, hundreds of libraries and bookstores commemorate Banned Books Week by showcasing challenged books and related events.
It’s book week, canaries!
What does it mean for a book to be challanged? What does it mean for it to be banned?
A book is challenged when someone decides it’s too something to be in a school, public library, or on the shelf in a bookstore. A commission is called together and investigates the claim. If the commission agrees with the concerned citizen, the book is considered “banned” and is subsequently removed from the school curriculum, library, or shelf. If the commission turns down the challenge, then the book remains available to the public.
According to the American Library Association, “Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.”
Cassandra Clare, author of the Mortal Instruments series, put it another way at the 2011 National Book Festival: “It’s up to every parent to be comfortable with what their own children read, but I don’t think they ought to be able to decide what other people’s children should read.”
What are the ingredients for writing a bannable book? What do we think of some of the books that ended up on ALA’s Most Frequently Challenged list? Will CanaryTheFirst ever learn to spell “challenge” without spellchecker’s help? All this and more coming up this week.
Canaries, what do you know about book bannings? Have you had any experience with it? Do you know any books that have been banned where you live?