Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. It is sponsored by a bevy of fine organizations, including the National Council of Teachers of English, the American Library Association, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Project Censored.
According to the event website:
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.
That’s around the time I sent an outraged letter from college to the principal of my middle school, which had decided to ban “Huckleberry Finn” from the library because some grown-ups found it offensive. To add insult to injury, the name of the school was Mark Twain Intermediate.
The 10 Most Challenged Titles of 2012 include “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie and “Beloved” by Toni Morrison.
Be reckless this week and read something forbidden.