September 26 – October 2 is Banned Books Week. Many of the books I’ve discussed in this blog – Rowling’s Harry Potter Series, Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, Sendak’s In The Night Kitchen, to name but a couple – have received challenges from parents and been pulled from library shelves. Children’s and YA lit are particularly vulnerable to these sort of challenges.
Pay a visit to the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week site http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/ to see a list of recently challenged books, see a map of locations where books have been challenged, and get ideas for what you can do to prevent censorship in your school and community.
Here’s a simple form of grassroots activism that anyone can do: take your child/neice/nephew/little sibling/ grandma/neighbor to the library and check out one of those challenged books, and let your local or school librarian know that you’re doing it because the book was challenged and you want to have a conversation about it.
Censorship of this sort affects everyone. Read a banned book this week!