Freedom to Read

Some People are Still Trying to Get Books Removed From Libraries!

You should have the right to choose your own books to read, right? Sadly, not everyone sees it that way.  

Did you know that some people are trying to ban books that you or others might want to read? Yes, that's right. Each year, many books are challenged - which means they have been formally attempted to be removed from library shelves.

Who says they have the right to do that? Each person should have the choice to read a book or leave it on the shelf.  

Parents are welcome to guide their own child's reading, but they need not be making these choices for other people's children.  

Without the freedom to read, what freedom do we truly have? If freedom is important to you, you may consider wanting to review the list of frequently challenged books.  It's surprising how many books are seen as objectionable by others.  Think about it: if you happen to hate strawberry ice cream, do you think it's reasonable to ban others from having access to it?

If a book is truly of poor quality, odds are it will not be read much anyway - without any intervention by banning!  But even if a book is of poor quality, it need not be banned.  Not only is this against our freedoms, but also it leads to a 'slippery slope'. If one book is banned, does this mean everything in that same genre needs to be banned?  Will there ever be any books remaining that are not so bland that they never get anyone to think about anything?

And what is the book banning actually accomplishing? Removal of books, or removal of thought?

What are some examples of frequently challenged books? (FYI: a challenge means a book has been formally attempted to be removed from a library or school. A challenge is therefore a direct threat the freedom to read that book).

The American Library Association has provided a list of the most frequently challenged books for 2000 - 2009:

These are the top 5 from that list of the most frequently challenged books of the past decade:

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

If you want to make your own reading choices, then speak out!

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.

Comment Stream