Ready for Banned Books Week?

We celebrate Banned Books Week September 27 through October 4 this year. Well, maybe it’s more accurate to say we celebrate the books that get banned, and the idea that freedom and liberty require that we not ban books.

Banned Books Week image from Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver

Banned Books Week image from Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver

Banned Books Week has been noted every year since 1982 in a long-running campaign from the American Library Association. Why?

Because ideas matter.  The right to express ideas, and the right to be able to read ideas, are at the foundation of our liberties.

Again in 2007, books most frequently targeted for banning include And Tango Makes Three, a delightful children’s story about two penguins taking care of an orphaned egg (too much like homosexuality), and Mark Twain’s powerful, essentially-American novel that makes the case against racism, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (ironically, because complainants claim to find the book racist).

People who ask that these books be pulled from the shelves often fail to recognize the irony — why should we ban a book about caring for orphans, or the book that makes the case against racism?

The Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver sponsors an annual Banned Books Week essay contest for Colorado teens, in conjunction with the Colorado Freedom of Expression Foundation.

How will your school and local public library commemorate Banned Books Week?  Which banned books will you read, and urge others to read?

Which banned books are on your reading lists for classroom use? Does that strike a little too close to home?  Then you need to get informed, and get active.


3 Responses to Ready for Banned Books Week?

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    I’m sure “American Thinker” would like to restrict information so that kids won’t know how to stay healthy.

    That article suggests librarians don’t do good work at all. Clearly it was written by someone who doesn’t understand what libraries are, why President Eisenhower considered them the bulwark of freedom, or why librarians have high standards to live up to in running the library.

    The suggestion in that article, comparing a racist, anti-science screed to Al Gore’s book, only demonstrates that the author is ill-informed about the topic.

    While it appears to be accurate that Sarah Palin’s efforts to censor books were frustrated by a brave librarian who held to high academic standards, that’s not comfort that all libraries everywhere are free, or that we shouldn’t concern ourselves with hare-brained ideas about banning books.

    American Thinker needs to think these things through.


  2. Jon says:

    Please check out this article. It makes some good points about our use of the term “banned” when referring to which books are available in which libraries.


  3. Emily Lloyd says:

    Hi. I write a library web comic, “Shelf Check,” and have written a few strips on And Tango Makes Three in the past:

    I’m hoping to spread the word about a button that reads “I read And Tango Makes Three to my kids” that folks can wear for Banned Books week (or, hey, year-round). The button is here:

    It’s $1.95, the lowest base price Zazzle offers–I’m not looking to make a profit. It’s also fully customizable, so your can substitute “niece” or “patrons” for “kids,” etc. Please consider taking a peek, and thanks for this post.


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