This week is Banned Books Week, a week set aside by the American Library Association and other groups to recognize the fact that we live in a country where we are free to read whatever we want. We do not have a government that tries to control our reading habits, whether in books, newspapers, magazines or the internet.
When people talk today about “banned books,” what they usually really mean are “challenged books.” These are books that raise concerns for some folks. And these folks exercise their first amendment rights by going to schools, school boards and libraries and asking that the books be removed from reading lists or libraries. You’d be surprised what some people object to. In fact, if you come to the library this week, you’ll see a display of books that have been challenged elsewhere, but are required for you to read while you are here at Hill Top. Challenged books aren’t always the newest, edgiest books. Sometimes they’re classics, like The Great Gatsby or The Giver.
There’s a great list that I like to pull out each year from Paste magazine. It’s a list of “10 Frequently Challenged Books That Everyone Should Read.” I’ve read 8 of the 10…how many have you read?