The books that the world calls immoral are the books
that show the world its own shame.–Oscar Wilde
We expect to hear stories like this out of China, which banned Animal Farm “because it put humans and animals on the same level.” But did you know that last year, The Merriam-Webster Dictionary was yanked from all schools in a California district? That ban only lasted a week, but right now many schools continue to enforce censorship. A Virginia district has banned A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes mystery. Slaughterhouse Five is currently banned from schools in Missouri.
I was shocked to learn that revered classic To Kill A Mockingbird was one of the most challenged books of 2009. And last year, seminal dystopian novel Brave New World was one of the top three disputed books. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight are the books that seem to make the list of Top 10 Challenged Books in classrooms and libraries year after year. I guess someone does not want kids reading.
In the United Kingdom, some libraries have actually blacklisted The Diary of Anne Frank. Other banned notables there include All Quiet on the Western Front, Madame Bovary, Black Beauty, and, gasp, The Canterbury Tales.
The American Library Association is sponsoring Banned Books Week, to highlight this issue and to celebrate the freedom to read. Get involved:
1.) Call your local library and offer support if they are getting pressure to remove any books from their shelves.
2.) Read a Banned Book:
3.) Visit the Virtual Read-Out on You Tube.
For clips of people, including famous authors, reading from their favorite banned books. Upload a your own video!
4.) Support organizations that get kids reading:
5.) Check out More Links on Banned Books