This week, libraries and bookstores across America are drawing attention to the many books that have been challenged and banned. From often-challenged books, like Beloved and the “Captain Underpants” series, to surprising challenges, like Charlotte’s Web and the dictionary, Banned Books Week celebrates our freedom to make our own reading choices.
Jacqueline Woodson, award-winning writer who most recently took home a 2014 National Book Award for her memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, has this to say on the topic:
“I definitely can understand parents having objections. As a mom, as someone who wants to protect my children in any way that I can, I can kind of get inside the heads of people who are saying, ‘This is not okay,’ only because they’re fearful. That’s where I can begin to have the conversation. I think people are willing to talk about anything if you come to it with kindness. But there are all these conversations that I fear are not being had, and as a result, we get banned and challenged.”
(The rest of Woodson’s discussion, entitled “It’s Banned Books Week Again. Can We Stop Yelling at Each Other About It?”, is available here.)
Curious about what titles made the list of Top 10 Most Frequently Challenged in 2014? Here’s the definitive list from the American Library Association. In the spirit of the week, the ALA also encourages you to take a selfie in front of a bookshelf (a “shelfie”) and/or with your favorite challenged or banned book, with the hashtags #BannedBooksWeek and #IReadBannedBooks.
Image credit: geralt on Pixabay.