Banned Book Week starts this Sunday, September 30. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the freedom to read. Check out the ALA's page on how the 50 states are celebrating banned book week and how you can be a part of the Virtual Read Out.
The top ten challenged books from 2011:
1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series) by Lauren Myracle
2. The Color of Earth (series) by Kim Dong Hwa
3. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
4. My Mom's Having a Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy by Dori Hillestad Butler
5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
6. Alice (series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
7. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
8. What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
9. Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily Von Ziegesar
10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
For more information on these books and more banned book lists visit ALA's Frequently Challenged Books of the 21st Century Page.
I understand and accept not wanting to read a book because you don't like the language or it's against your religion. These are valid reasons as to why I won't read certain books. It's okay to not want to read a book. What's not okay is censorship. Because you don't agree with something you don't want others to read it and form their own opinions. If censorship and book banning were okay then perfectly good pieces of literature would not be read. Book banning forces an opinion on everyone. I know there are badly written but popular books out there (I will not name them but I'm sure you can come up with a few). I say don't read them. But, I'm not going to take away your right. If you want to read the stuff that's your prerogative.
Check out the lists on ALA's page. I'm almost certain readers will find at least one book they have read and enjoyed. Book banning would cause us to miss out on great stuff. I'm sure you hear the stories of groups wanting a certain book banned because they erroneously think it's harmful to the children, like the Harry Potter series, for instance.
Take this week to read a book that has been challenged. Try one you haven't read before.