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Space for Rent: Banned Books Week 2013


Tweet of the Day:  Celebrate Banned Books, Rule 42 Style

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As the week and month come to a close I would be remiss if I did not mention 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. The 10 most challenged titles of 2012 were:

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison

Whether you like, love or hate any of these books, attempts to ban these books always do more harm than good. Nothing good comes from putting barriers between minds and ideas.  There is no bliss in darkness.

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6 comments on “Space for Rent: Banned Books Week 2013

  1. There is no bliss in darkness. That sums it up beautifully.

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  2. Well said.

    I’m always amazed what books end up being the focus of certain organizations for banning. I mean, they’d have to ban just about every book that gets published given some of their criteria. I guess that’s why it doesn’t make much sense to ban.

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  3. One: I doubt these twits even read half of what they try to ban. Two: How conceited must one be to think they have the right to tell others what they can choose to read?

    Like

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