|Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association|
The week of September 27 through October 3, 2015 is Banned Books Week. During this week, teachers, librarians, and book advocates from around the country and world are teaching people about banned books and the reasons as to why they were banned. They are also celebrating these great books and encouraging readers to read them.
I've always loved Banned Books Week because it's interesting to see what new books were banned or what older ones are causing waves again. The week is also one of my favorite events of the year because I just love reading and learning about everyone's experiences with banned and challenged books. I love catching up on the news on banned books, but mostly, I love celebrating the fact that I read banned books.
This week, I've been sharing a few of my favorite banned and challenged books with my readers. I hope you're enjoying these posts and getting to learn about some of my favorite banned books.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I couldn't celebrate Banned Books Week without mentioning one of my favorite books. Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic, but it was also challenged and banned. This book came to me in ninth grade, when it was an assigned novel, but I had originally wanted to read it when I was in fifth grade. I remember staring at it every time I visited my grandma, and asking her about it. Ironically, I wasn't allowed to read it when I was in fifth grade because my grandma thought it was too mature for me.
I remember feeling free when I finally read To Kill a Mockingbird. I loved reading about Scout, Jem, and Atticus. I loved reading about Calpurnia. I loved reading and learning about Boo Radley. But mostly, I loved how To Kill a Mockingbird is really a story about humanity. It's such a powerful book that all students and people should read because it's a story about bittersweet hope.
Why the Ban?
To Kill a Mockingbird has been challenged and banned multiple times and in multiple places, and most of these bans have come from schools. According to the American Literary Association, this classic American novel has been banned for being a "'filthy, trashy novel,'" racism, and profanity. (Click the link to read the list.)