Banned Books Week Begins


L. McMaken
Cincinnati, OH



The American Library Association is doing something a bit different for Banned Books Week (September 24 – October 1) this year. They are asking libraries and readers nationwide to “read-out” banned and challenged books.

A special channel on YouTube has been created for readers to submit their reading (2-minute limit) or to describe any local book challenges (3-minute limit) in their area.  This is to support the freedom to read any books and to highlight freedom of speech. They also have a web page dedicated to Banned Books Week where you can get ideas, banners, information and learn how to participate against censorship.

The ALA is also hosting an eBay Auction event with “more then 70 pieces by leading artists in the children’s book industry, including Peter Brown, Susan Jeffers, Wendell Minor, Adam Rex and Paul O. Zelinsky.” All proceeds from this auction will be used to support “First Amendment rights of young readers, including Kids Right to Read Project, which is co-sponsored by the American Booksellers Foundation of Free Expression and the National Coalition Against Censorship.

During this week, the American Association of School Librarians will be featuring Banned Websites Awareness DaySeptember 28th. Librarians, schools, and readers are being asked to submit their stores, ideas, and activities related to Banned Website Awareness Day to their blog.

Helen Adams, Committee Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Center says the day was created because, “filtering of educational and social networking sites is an impediment to student learning in schools across the country. By sharing resources, experiences, and planned activities with other school librarians AASL can heighten awareness about filtering of legitimate educational websites in K-12 schools.”

The Top Ten Banned or Challenged Books 2000 – 2009

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Myracle, Lauren
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky