On the heels of The National Book Festival, we celebrate the freedom to read about the supernatural (witches, vampires, magic, and things that go bump in the night); and the right to read about issues and subjects that are ever-so-present in our society: racism, poverty, and discrimination.

Banned Books Week is an annual celebration of intellectual freedom or, “The freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular.” Sponsored by the American Library Association, this year’s theme is ‘Think for Yourself and Let Others Do the Same’.

Every time period in history has depended on authors to challenge taboo subjects, educate people on sociological issues, and do it in an entertaining way.  Censorship prevents people, especially children and young adults, from being able to discover the wonderful characters, emotion, and ideology that are often found in controversial literature.  It makes me wonder; who would we all be if we would not have been able to discover the bizarre world of Holden Caulfield, or travel down the Mississippi River with Huck Finn?

I myself will always cherish the messages brought forth in To Kill a Mockingbird.  The morality of Atticus, the faith of Scout, the conscience of Jem, and the good nature of Boo still remains the most influential book in my collection.

What is your favorite banned book?

Lindsey Levinsohn is a collection development specialist for OverDrive.

2 Responses to “I read banned books!”

  1. Mary Ryan

    Maurice Sendack’s In the Night Kitchen. Yes, it’s been challenged and banned.

  2. Wendy Hicks

    As we like to say here in Stratford (ON Canada), “if we don’t have something to offend everyone, we aren’t doing our job as public librarians.” I think “The Satanic Verses” is my favorite, and I’ve got a whopper of a teaching moment that goes with that one.