I don't usually blatantly steal ideas from the blogs that I read regularly, but this time I'm making an exception. The title link is to a post on The Blogonomicon
about banned book week (Sept 24 - Oct1).
It provides links to the American Library Association's (ALA) list of the 100 most frequently challenged books from 1990 to 2000. I was surprised that 27 of the books on this list were ones that I have read, many of which I read as a child! While admittedly, some of them are a bit controversial, many of them seemed too benign to have warranted such complaints. I guess I'll never understand the banning mentality.
While browsing the ALA site, I also noticed they had a list of the Top 10 Challenged Authors from 1990 to 2004. My personal library contains at least two dozen books written by half of the authors on this list. I encourage you to visit the links to the ALA site and see if any of your favorites have come under attack.
Why are people challenging the right of free people to read these works? What ideals do they value so much as to feel justified in attempting to curtail the freedom of speech of these authors? How is it that they came to value an ideal that is so frail as to be threatened by words on paper? Censorship is folly. I can think of several books I obtained and read specifically because I learned that they were banned in various places. Bans arouse curiosity. Already I find myself wanting to read some of the works on the frequently challenged books list just to find out what they contain and what the challengers fear.
“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”—Benjamin Franklin
Labels: Books, Education