Banned Books Week is an annual American Library Association event that draws attention to censorship. Many of the books that have been challenged or banned in the United States are still accessible to readers thanks to the hard work of teachers, librarians, and others who fight for the freedom to read. Participating in Banned Books Week is an act of support for the freedom to express ideas—including those that have been labeled as controversial in society.
This year, Banned Books Week will take place September 25-October 1. Unsure of what to read? The American Library Association offers a list of the top ten most challenged books of 2015 on their organizational website. Other available lists include challenged books by decade, most frequently challenged authors, and liberating literature.
I am planning to participate in Banned Books Week and have already started reading Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. This book was awarded the Premio Quinto Sol and selected for The Big Read, a community-reading program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. Here are a few other frequently challenged books that I highly recommend:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon
The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
Harry Potter (series), J. K. Rowling
His Dark Materials (series), Philip Pullman
Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Patterson
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle
I am very grateful to the teachers who assigned several of these books to me in elementary school, and I hope that my growing into an avid adult reader would make them proud.
Keep reading! #BannedBooksWeek