Young Bill Young, here. Kitty’s out of the office the next few days, so I will be happily blogging in her absence.
It’s Banned Books Week, so you know what to do. Find a title that someone doesn’t want you to read, and read it! Need help finding a book? Take a look at the American Library Association’s list of the ten most frequently challenged books of 2008. The link will also give you access to past years’ lists. And here’s a list of the 100 most frequently challenged books during the 1990s. That will give you lots and lots of great titles (some of them bona fide American classics) to choose from.
Of course Banned Books Week is a promotion to celebrate the diversity of literature and opinions in our great country, and the right of individuals to have access to those ideas. So who would we be if we didn’t present both sides of the issue? Many books are challenged by well-meaning concerned parents, so we googled “censorship of children’s materials” and came up with this results page. Lots of differing opinion here, including a Wall Street Journal editorial and a posting on Beliefnet.com.
Books are challenged all across the U.S. and this map details some of the recent attempts. This map will certainly make Okies feel a lot better, since it often seems our state is ground zero for intellectural freedom challenges.
Finally, the writer in this column from the Detroit Free Press agrees that Banned Books Week is a Good Time to Read One. So come on! You know you’ve just been dying to crack that copy of Lady Chatterly’s Lover for the longest time!