Rummanah Aasi
Image credit to Albany Poets

   Banned Book Week is upon us once again. This week is about celebrating your freedom to read. Starting September 25 through October 2nd, I will be pausing my current reading pile and participate in reading books that have either been challenged or banned.
 Do you know what the difference is between a challenged and banned book? Many people use the words  interchangeably, however, each word has a different meaning. A challenged book is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.  A banning is the actual removal of those materials.  Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view. This person/group wants to remove the material from the curriculum or library, which thereby restricts the access of others. 

  I will be picking 7 titles to read and review for each day and from each literary cannon: children's, YA, and adult. Not only will I be doing a review of the book, I will also include information as to where and why the book was banned/challenged. Here is my reading list as it stands:

 Books I will read during Banned Book Week

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
  3. Lush by Natasha Friend
  4. Whale Talk by Chris Cutcher
  5. Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes
  6. Stuck in the Middle: Seventeen Comics from an Unpleasant Age edited by Ariel Schrag
  7. How to Get Suspended and Influence People by Adam Selzer

I participated in a similar reading challenge last year hosted by Steph Su at Steph Su Reads and Donna over at Bites. I read the following books for Banned Books Week Reading Challenge:

Join me in the fight against censorship and celebrate the freedom to read. To get your booklist started, check out the helpful websites below:
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's (my alma mater!) Challenged Children's Book List. This list is divided up into age group, which is very helpful.
  • Hit List for Young Adults 2 by Teri Lesesne and Rosemary Chance. Written for librarians combating censorship but also provides a list of 20 titles of YA books that have been challenged/banned. 
  • The Illinois Library Association has a great bibliography every year noting the books challenged that year. This would be most help if you were looking for the most current challenged books.  
  • ALA's Yearly Challenged/Banned Books, which lists books challenged, restricted, removed, or banned in that year as reported in the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom.
10 Responses
  1. Wow! You can read a book a day?! That's awesome.

    Good luck with your goals for BBW.

    Looking forward to your reviews because I haven't read any of those books yet. Thanks for the info.

  2. Jenny Says:

    To Kill a Mockingbird and Farenheit 451 were both banned? What? Those were 2 of my favorite books in school! Can't wait for your post on TKaM so I can see why it was banned. Ridiculous.

  3. Missie: If I get on a roll with good books back to back, I can generally read one a day. I try to read more than one book at a time but sometimes it gets confusing.

    Jenny: Yep, both were. Fahrenheit 451 because of the topic (which ironically is about censorship), misuse of passages from the Bible, and some other stuff. It's really crazy.

  4. Lauren M Says:

    Awesome! If I wasn't so swamped with reading for class, I would totally participate in this! Yay for banned books!

  5. I've never seen that U of I list of banned books -- great source, thanks for including that!

  6. quirky girls Says:

    I read Nickel and Dimed years ago. I had no idea that it was banned. I must go look up the reason.


  7. Lauren: Yeah, the week comes at a busy time. I had to plan weeks in advance for it.

    Annette: Your welcome! I thought the list was interesting. I hope you find it helpful.

    Quirygirls: It was one of the most challenged books in 2010 and the reasons for it are interesting.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Nickel and Dimed, who I would have never thought of that as being banned. I read it in college.

  9. Thanks for the list of resources. I was thinking about doing likewise before I found this blog...I may still, but I'll use different resources.

    I am impressed that you are reading a banned book a day. I will be happy if I pull off two. I am currently reading a Chris Crutcher book, also.

    I'll be posting everyday this week about Banned Books Week, so drop by and visit every once in a while.

    Have a good week.


  10. Anonymous: I also never thought this book would be challenged too. In fact it was one of the most challenged book this year.

    Anne: I hoping I can pull off all 7 books. I know some people, librarians included, who aren't impressed with BBW but I think it's important to celebrate your freedom to read and think critically.

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