Monday, September 27, 2010

"The Freedom to Read"

Did you know that in the United States, people try to ban books?  Often books are challenged because the content or ideas presented offend some people's beliefs.  Does this concept go against the First Amendment?  Are there any benefits to banning books from schools and libraries? Who gets to decide what can and cannot be read?

As an English major and avid reader, I have actually read almost all of the books that appear on the top 100 Banned/Challenged Book List for 2000-2009.  In fact, many of them are among my favorites. Some I read as a young girl, and I learned important ideas from them. Some I read as assigned novels in junior high school, high school, and college. Still others I read because my students recommended them!  In fact, I think some of you will be surprised by number one on list (actually a series); it may be one of your favorites.  

Read this article from the "Teaching and Learning" section of The New York Times 10 Ways to Celebrate Banned Books Week. Be sure to scan the list of the top 100 books (under number two in the article). Have you read any of these books? Are any of them your favorites?

Most importantly, how will you celebrate Banned Books Week?