It’s Banned Books Week! This event, which takes place this year from September 25-October 1, celebrates our freedom to read and brings attention to the harms of censorship.
Last year, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom recorded 275 challenges to literature around the country (down from 311 in 2014). Here’s the list of the top ten most challenged books last year.
Of the top ten list, I have only read the Bible (not the whole thing; I’m Catholic ~_^). I love the note that someone challenged it because it was “illegal.” I must assume that this was in a public school. I would still support the critical study of the Bible as literature in a public school setting, along with other religious texts, in a pertinent class.
This week, I am reading the graphic novel V for Vendetta. To my knowledge this book has not been banned (thought China did not allow the release of the 2006 movie adaptation), but it is still very appropriate because of its condemnation of government censorship. While we here in the US are lucky to have our freedoms protected by the First Amendment, we must still be careful before allowing other citizens to decide what it okay for us and our children to read. That decision is best left in the hands of the reader, or their guardians.
Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it.
There’s no flesh or blood within this cloak to kill. There’s only an idea. Ideas are bulletproof.
–V (Alan Moore, V for Vendetta)
Have you read any of these books? Which is your favorite? Are you reading any banned books this week?