HAPPY BANNED BOOKS WEEK!
If you’re a book lover you might’ve already known about this wonderful, wonderful holiday. Which should be made into a federal one so we can get the week off to read as many banned books as want. Hey, one can dream.
But for one whole week, it is a week of celebration of books. Books that have made a difference in the lives of the reading community. Of books which opened up different worlds and viewpoints. Of books which taught us tolerance, equality, to love and empathize. Of books that gave us readers the greatest adventure of our lives with every turn of the page.
Still, as it’s been every year, books are banned and or challenged for removal from our libraries. And every year the American Library Association receive and track reports of them. Thus using this annual event to showcase on how such censorship can do more harm than good.
Take a look at which books were banned/challenged the most in 2015. And the reasons why:
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”)
Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group
Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”)
Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”)
The Holy Bible
Reasons: Religious viewpoint
Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”)
Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence
Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”)
If you’ve noticed most of the books banned/challenged last year were diverse books. And were banned because of sexuality and religious viewpoints.
Now mind you, in the case of 50 Shades of Grey, I don’t think anyone under 17 years old should read the book. It is an erotic novel primarily written for women in the 20-30s age group, not teens. So can anyone answer me as a women in my early 30s, how is it unsuitable to me? That it’s one of the reasons it was banned?
Obviously E.L. James did not write the series for the young adult age group. But if young teens are going to read it, they’re going to read it. But using “they’ll want to try it,” as a reason to ban/challenge it is insulting. I’d hope that any reader, no matter their age, are mature enough to realize that the world of 50 Shades is a fantasy. That the whole reforming a rake thing is all fun in books but not in real life.
Anyways, I’ll be on a banned books high this week and will be on the hunt for a banned book to read. And like last year, for The Hunger Games, write a review to counter the reasons used against it. Anyone, have any suggestions? I like reading mysteries and thrillers, especially in the amateur female detective variety. I also like reading young adult fantasy and supernatural novels. If there’s a book that mashes all of these, I’d love to know about it. Especially, as I’m feeling peckish for a Nancy Drew-ish fantasy/supernatural whodunit.
In the meantime, why not celebrate Banned Books Week with me and across social media. Add the banned books Twibbon to your Twitter profile. Not on Twitter? Then check out the free downloads and Banned Books Week resources and art.