The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The above books all have something in common. They are all listed on ALA's Banned and Challenged Classics list. Each year the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom records several books that have been challenged, restricted, removed, or banned. This week we celebrate the freedom to read.
"The most challenged and/or restricted reading materials have been books for children. However, challenges are not simply an expression of a point of view; on the contrary, they are an attempt to remove materials from public use, thereby restricting the access of others. Even if the motivation to ban or challenge a book is well intentioned, the outcome is detrimental. Censorship denies our freedom as individuals to choose and think for ourselves. For children, decisions about what books to read should be made by the people who know them best—their parents!"(Source: Read a Banned Book, ALA Letter to the Editor Resource)
I agree that everyone should have the right to choose books freely. And I agree parents need to take the time to learn what their children are reading and have open discussions about books with them. That's what we currently do in our household and that's what we plan to do as our children grow older.
For more information about Banned Books Week visit http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/index.cfm
Here's a cute YouTube video by the American Library Association featuring Crash Pad Puppet Book Banners. The puppets try to ban The Joy of Cooking and more!