Another year has come to pass, and readers find themselves facing another Banned Books Week! I look forward to this week every year with the same enthusiasm that I have for Shark Week. This year’s Banned Books Week is from September 27th to October 3rd.
Started in 1982, Banned Books Week is a celebration of the freedom to read. This fights against the censorship of books by schools and libraries across the nation. Books have been censored for a plethora of reasons – from being anti-religion to “negativity” (what would Freytag’s Pyramid be without negativity??). Children of all ages should be able to read whatever literature they wish, even if the Marcia Langmans of the world would prefer otherwise.
I am proud of the banned books I have read – here are just a few:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
The Call of the Wild – Jack London
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Howl – Allen Ginsburg
The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie
The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
The Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling
This year, I have decided to celebrate Banned Books Week by reading George Orwell’s 1984. I’ve always wanted to read this book, as it has been the inspiration of my favorite song by my favorite band (“Resistance” by Muse).
No one can tell me or anyone else what can or cannot be read based on the standards of another. Freedom is what this week is all about, and I intend to fully exercise my freedom to read, this week and every week. Who’s with me?