Banned Books Week Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Banned Books Week runs from September 24th through October 1st, and is enjoying its 30th annual celebration this year. The event was founded in 1982 by librarian and director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom Judith Krug.

To celebrate the week, a tribute to the authors and literature that have been the targets of censors, colleges and libraries in the U.S. are hosting readings of banned works.

Across the nation, readers are tucking in to some of history’s most famous banned works, including Ulysses by James Joyce, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (challenged as late as 2009), The Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Animal Farm by George Orwell, and The Awakening by Kate Chopin.

Since the creation of Banned Books Week, more than 11,000 works have been challenged, according to the American Library Association, the sponsor of the week. Few challenges lead to outright bans, but the act of challenging the appropriateness of books has not died out. Yahoo! notes the following texts were challenged in the past 12 months:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Challenged for passages explicitly dealing with teen sex, homosexuality and bestiality.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Challenged due to complaints about sexual and homosexual themes.

Push by Sapphire (Ramona Lofton)
Challenged for the numerous adult situations described in the novel, including rape, incest and child abuse.

What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras and Dane Saavedra
Banned from 21 Buda, Texas, school libraries due to definitions of rape, incest, sexual assault and intercourse.

Are you planning on reading a banned book this week? Let us know!