Friday, September 29, 2017

Banned Books Week 2017

Chances are that you’ve read at least one banned book in your lifetime. Judy Blume usually springs to mind around this time of year, but what about Shel Silverstein, Maurice Sendak, JK Rowling? That’s right, someone read Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic and thought, “Hmm, not appropriate for children.”

Guys. Guys.

Banned Books Week occurs every year and serves as a “celebration of the freedom to read.” The reasons behind challenges to books can vary, but they all come back to the same thing – censorship. Attempts to censor literature often comes under the veil of trying to shield children from so-called inappropriate subjects. Which is probably one of the worst things you could do for a child’s curiosity. Taking away information doesn’t sate the hunger, it only makes it grow stronger.

Banning books (or attempting to have them banned) is still going on today, which is absolutely crazy if you think about what kids and teenagers can more readily access on the internet. I am one Google search away from videos about fetishes I didn’t even know existed. Exposure to difficult topics inside the context of a story can be much more beneficial than a quick few minutes on the internet, which lacks the nuance of characters and plot that can put things in perspective.

They have no choice but to be nerds.
I normally try to read a banned book during this week, but ended up not doing so this year. Although, I’ve been reading Harry Potter with my kids (we’re up to Prisoner of Azkaban), so technically I’ve been on board the banned books week for months now. Look at me, ahead of trends!

What banned books have you read lately? Or were some of your childhood favorites commonly banned or challenged?


  1. I read about how some people wanted to ban the Diary of Anne Frank, and I loved (and still love) that book when I was a teenager. I think that people who want to ban books like that are trying to keep kids too sheltered, but what they don't realize is the value of what those books are actually teaching. Not to mention the kids are just going to want to read them even more if they're not allowed to read them.

    1. I think that's a good point. Unfortunately, I many people who challenge books seem to feel that they are protecting kids from age-inappropriate behavior, and don't see their actions as really sheltering.