In the midst of all the election and Olympics hoopla, we may need a little reminder of another big event.
Banned Books Week is coming around again, September 27th through October 4th. For many of us, it will be the basis for our first bulletin board or planned activity.
The event, launched in 1982 as a national celebration of our freedom to read, by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers and the National Association of College Stores, is designed "to draw attention to the growing number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries."
Among the sites offering support for your upcoming BBW events and activities are:
- Kids’ Right to Read Project (American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) address book challenges and bans in schools and libraries.) The 18-page PDF manual offers useful backgroud, as well as a state-by-state list of banned books
- ABFFE’s Banned Books Week Handbook offers lists of frequently challenged titles, as well as posters, images, display ideas, and other strategies for participation.
- ALA’s lists of the most frequently challenged books and authors, as well as a wealth of other materials, including support for challenges and the Banned Book Week support kit—available through the ALA Store.
In case you are curious about titles recently banned, ALA notes that more than 400 books were challenged in 2007. And the dubious achievement awards for the 10 most challenged titles go to:
1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
2. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
3. Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes
4. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
7. TTYL by Lauren Myracle
8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
9. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
(Click here for the reasons behind the challenges.)
What are you planning for Banned Books Week? Can we combine the election with our the freedom to read themes? Please share any brilliant (or simply good) ideas in your comments.