Monday, September 28, 2009

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Have you ever read, 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn', 'Of Mice and Men', 'Gone with the Wind' or 'Where’s Waldo'?
Then you have read a Banned or Challenged book.

Yes, you read right.
"A BANNED or CHALLENGED book". Scary words to me.

This isNational Banned Books Week . Seems too strange to even be saying those words here in the ol' U S of A.

Banned and Challenged Classics

Each year, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom records hundreds of attempts by individuals and groups to have books removed from libraries shelves and from classrooms.

According to the Office for Intellectual Freedom, at least 42 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the target of ban attempts.

For more information on why these books were challenged, visit challenged classics and the Banned Books Week Web site.

-. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
-. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
-. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
-. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
-. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
-. Ulysses by James Joyce
-. Beloved by Toni Morrison
-. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
-. 1984 by George Orwell
-. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
--. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
--. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
--. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
--. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
--. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
--. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
--. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
--. Their Eyes are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
--. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
--. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
--. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
--. Native Son by Richard Wright
--. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
--. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
--. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
--. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
--. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
--. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
--. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
--. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
--. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
--. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
--. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
--. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
--. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
--. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
--. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
--. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
--. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
--. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
--. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
--. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
--. Rabbit, Run by John Updike

Most frequently challenged books: 1990-1999

-. Scary Stories (Series), by Alvin Schwartz
-. Daddy’s Roommate, by Michael Willhoite
-. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
-. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
-. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
-. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
-. Forever, by Judy Blume
-. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
-. Heather Has Two Mommies, by Leslea Newman
--. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
-. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
--. My Brother Sam is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
--. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
--. Alice (Series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
--. Goosebumps (Series), by R.L. Stine
--. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
--. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
To see the rest of the list ....Click Here
Both my children and I have a deep love for books. And I believe you should be the one monitoring what books are in your children's hands not a "group".
What's next? The internet?

Here is an excerpt of a letter a librarian wrote to a patron when that patron asked that a book be removed from their library...
"... our whole system of government was based on the idea that the purpose of the state was to preserve individual liberties, not to dictate them. The founders uniformly despised many practices in England that compromised matters of individual conscience by restricting freedom of speech. Freedom of speech – the right to talk, write, publish, discuss – was so important to the founders that it was the first amendment to the Constitution – and without it, the Constitution never would have been ratified." To read this wonderful compassionate letter in whole... Click here.


  1. It amazes me what people find inappropriate. The irony of it is that by banning books they just give the books more publicity and make the books more popular.

  2. I agree. Whenever something is prohibited, it just makes people want to do it more...just ask any teenager...hahaha

    Bottom line....even going back to the founding fathers of this country, free speech was so important to them that they made it the FIRST amendment.

    I may not agree with what you chose to read, but I will defend your right to read it.

    It is scary to know that in this day and age, there are countries that shut down their news media.
    When a government wants to take over, they take away the freedom of speech so that there is no sharing of ideas.

  3. A light in the Attic?! Seriously? What a joke.

  4. Ines, I remember when you were little. You liked Shel's poem "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout would not take the garbage out".
    It may have been in his other book, "Where the Sidewalk Ends".

    HAHA guess I'm a baaaaad mommy, letting my kids read banned books.


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