Starting today, it is officially banned books week. The top ten banned books of 2016 are listed below. Have you read any of them?
There were 323 challenges to books in 2016, and you can view past banned books lists here. The only one of these I have read is Looking for Alaska by John Green. Seeing it on the banned books list surprised me, because I couldn’t think of any reason for it to be banned.
You can guess the reasons for these books being banned just by looking at some of the covers. Here’s how it tends to go: a parent takes their child to the library and comes across a book that they feel is inappropriate for the age group it has been marketed to. They complain to the library, the American Library Association, the school, etc. and petition to have the book removed from all libraries. Doesn’t that just sound like an awful lot of work to go to, when realistically you could just talk with your kid about the sensitive material in the book and then if you still don’t want them reading it, simply offer another book?
Attempting to remove these books from libraries is an attempt at censorship. And every year it backfires because when books make it on the banned books list, believe it or not it only makes them more popular. And newsflash: if you find a book offensive, here is the solution: don’t read it. There are so many other books you can be reading, discussing, talking about. Focus on the books you like, not the books you don’t like. Don’t try to take away others’ right to read a book because you think that book is wrong.
What do you think about banned books week?