Gearing Up For Banned Books Week

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association

December is fast approaching. And if I want to finish the rewrites/edits to my YA supernatural work in progress by then, I better hop to it. And get it done.

But if you’ve ever read my blog post, “Why Reading is My Starting Point,” you’d know that I love to read. There was a time that I’d devour books whole, sometimes reading two books in one day. And grabbing two new books from the library the next day. Remember the cookie monster? Well I was the book monster!

Banned Books Week is coming up and I can’t just let it pass without doing something to celebrate. Last year I posted an open thread about banned books. But this year, although I’m pressed for time, I want to do something different.

Nowadays, with work, kids, bills, writing, trying to write, etc. I don’t have as much reading time as I’d like. Thanks to the holidays I was able to re-read Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I’m almost done with the Gothic horror novel (88 pages to go) and then comes the hunt for the next book to read, which always eludes me. That was when the idea came to me, that the next book I choose to read, should be a banned book.

I’ve read many, many, many books. Often they were class assignments and other times is because I wanted to. But it always came as a surprise to find out later, that they were actually banned and or challenged. So this year, I’m going to read a banned book on purpose.

The American Library Association has a list of frequently banned and challenged books. By decade, among the classics, and a top ten in previous years. And as I have my reading preferences, I’m on the hunt for a YA (young adult), NA (new adult) or adult book. Maybe even MG (middle grade). It definitely has to be an adventure and fantasy genre. And I’m open to contemporary and literary fiction. With a side of mystery/thriller.

Hands down, I want a book featuring women as flawed, strong heroines. Who are not victims or damsels in distress. Or caricatures of their race and gender. Also looking for diverse books written by diverse writers.

So far, I’m interested in reading Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. The Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller because it was the result of taking a “which banned book are you?” quiz. And The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I admit that I watched the movies before ever reading the books. I know, I know, I was weak. But as there’s no way a movie adaptation can truly capture everything, I’m now curious to read it.

Hopefully by next week, I’d have made my decision (and by then I’d finish Dracula). And I’m also open to a few suggestions.

Have you ever read a book and was surprised to learn it’d been banned or challenged? What are your thoughts about banning books?

Here are some lists compiled by the American Library Association of frequently banned/challenged books. Have you read any of the books on the list?:

Top ten frequently challenged books lists of the 21st century

Most frequently challenged authors of the 21st century

Most Frequently Challenged Books Written by Authors of Color 1990-1999

Banned & Challenged Classics

PSS Want to support Banned Books Week on Facebook or Twitter? Then follow the link to add the “I Read Banned Books” twibbon to your picture profile!

Check out my bookshelf, chock full of banned books!😀

PSSS? My work in progress novel, Nadia the Fire Witch, won the blurb contest I entered on Wattpad!

16 thoughts on “Gearing Up For Banned Books Week

  1. I’ve been reading a lot less too and my list of books to read just keeps growing…and growing…and growing. I have a ton of banned books I want to read some day. This year I’ll try to at least read one during Banned Books Week. I do have a post planned for it though.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me too, I just keep adding and adding to my TBR list. Took a quiz for fun to see how long it’ll take to read and finish all the books on my list a while ago. And at the rate I’m going it’ll take me 40 years or so:-/. Let me know what book you plan to read during Banned Books Week.


  2. A few years ago I read the book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie. I wanted to preview it for my teenage son since it looked like a great book for him to read to learn about life on a reservation. He liked it as much as I did. I was surprised to later learn some schools had banned it. Sure, there’s some language and mature situations, but the picture the author painted was true for many kids. Books like this improve our cultural awareness. That’s something that should never be banned.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great that you pre-read it first and that he loved it too. It always surprised me when people banned books from schools, when they can do as you did. And come to the decision if it’s okay for their own child to read it. Instead of denying access to everyone. Such books help empathize and raise awareness to other cultures, races, etc. And the different adversities they face.


  3. I can’t get over how many classics and famous books have been included in the banned books list. Just a few are: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald; The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck; To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; 1984 by George Orwell; and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll never get over it either. It’s been awhile since I’ve read any of the books (still haven’t read Gone with the Wind), but I don’t remember anything in them to warrant them to get banned. But I found this article that references some of the books, listing the reasons for banning and challenging books is mostly because they explore themes that go against the banners/challengers conservative views. Or goes up against their comfort zone. Check it out: 10 Reasons for Banning Books, and 5 Much Better Reasons Not To


    • It’s my first too but searching the American Library Association has helped. Now that’s got me thinking in searching the local newspapers for any mention of books that have been banned and challenged in the past.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was really surprised when I learned that Harry Potter had been banned. I was even more surprised (and somewhat amused) when I found out the reason: that some fundamentalist Christians thought the books were teaching kids actual witchcraft.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I remember thinking how ridiculous the reasons for banning Harry Potter. I remember in college how me and a friend were debating Harry Potter and I mocked how JK Rowling was using witchcraft in the books to brainwash kids, so that she may one day rule the world (a plot worthy of Brain from Pinky & the Brain). Or something like that. Either way, the lady next to us who was listening in, couldn’t help but laugh out loud.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know, some of those reasons are just as outrageous as they are ridiculous. Just a piece of the story, what is deemed as negative gets the complete focus, while the entirety of the book and overall message(s) is looked over. SMH…the world would probably be a better place just a little bit, instead of banning books, we read the books, let them open up our minds and our hearts. Great list by the way (there always be room on my shelf for banned books :-D) And thanks.


  5. I did once post a video on my channel about banned books and how I think some banned books are absolutely ridiculous! I mean honestly, some of them are banned for ludicrous reasons that don’t even make any sense. I hope you can read the books that you want to, and I am glad to see you preparing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Happy Banned Books Week! | Paving My Author's Road

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