Banned Books Week
BANNED BOOKS WEEK
September 23rd - September 29th
What's a "Banned Book"?
A banned book is a book in print that while still in print is heavily restricted to public access. These books can be removed from public schools, libraries, or even the shelves of bookstores. The word "banned" can be extremely misleading, as it gives some the idea these books are dangerous, obscene, or inappropriate for children.
However, this idea is completely false. A few examples of banned books are titles such as Alice in Wonderland, Frankenstein, 1984, Harry Potter, The Hate U Give, To Kill A Mockingbird, and several, several others. These titles are not dangerous and are not bad for the public or children. Rather, they were banned based on the agendas of single interest, religious, political, or other private groups.
How does a book get banned?
A book can be banned for several reasons. A religious group could take issue with its critical content. A private interest group could feel it challenges its core beliefs in a community. However, these reasons are not always transparent and are often veiled under different terms to shield true intentions.
For example, Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give was banned from school libraries on grounds of profanity and drug use. However, other titles that contain this subject matter are allowed to exist in these spaces. It was later uncovered by the American Library Association that the true reason the book was challenged was due to its criticism of race relations in America.
Even giant titles like Harry Potter have gone under a 20 year controversy as religious groups continue to seek its ban as they claim it promotes the idea of witchcraft and paints Harry as a character children will want to copy.
How does banning books affect us?
Banning books is a form of censorship and shows no sign of slowing down. By banning a book, it limits the control of the American public and limits our access to different works and resources. It allows special interest groups to restrict the information we consume and restricts us from broadening our world view, deciding for ourselves what we should and shouldn't read, and from publishing, writing, and spreading what we want.
How does Banned Books Week help?
Banned books week encourages the public to read a book that has been banned in any space as a means of protest. It shows that we will seek out what we wish to read and will not allow our access to be limited.
Want to learn more? Click here to see the Banned Books Week website.