If you’re a big reader, you might know that Sunday marks the start of Banned Books Week—a week where the entire book community comes together to celebrate our freedom to read. If you are not familiar with Banned Books Week, we’ll catch you up!
Books for all ages are often banned or challenged, especially in schools and libraries, when people feel that the content is somehow offensive or unsuitable for its audience. Some children’s books that have been banned or challenged in recent years include:
Looking For Alaska by John Green
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Golden Compass/His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey
This is just a snapshot; the list goes on and on and on.
However, Banned Books Week is about changing the conversation and focusing on the harms of censorship. After all, one of the best things about reading is the ability of books to broaden our worldview, and introduce ideas or opinions or perspectives that are different from our own. While each person has the right to choose not to read a book if he or she finds it objectionable, we believe everyone should be able to make that choice for themselves.
This year, Banned Books Week runs from September 25th to October 1st. Make sure you check out your local bookstores for events, or to just pick up a banned book that you’ve never read before. If you want to learn more about Banned Books Week, you can visit the BBW website or the American Library Association’s website.
And we have a special activity for Banned Books Week!
Download the crossword puzzle that we’ve created for Banned Books Week, and test your knowledge of some of the most frequently banned and challenged children’s books. And if you’re in the Cincinnati area, bring your completed crossword in to blue manatee children’s bookstore to enter into a special prize drawing!
Let’s spread the word about banned books and exercise our freedom to read!