Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Banned Books Week

Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it. - Mark Twain
It's Banned Books Week from September 24th–October 1st, so be sure to buy, read or give away a banned book.

The American Library Association has more info, as you might expect. They also listed the most often challenged books from last year. The Chocolate War topped the list (again), but for the first time in five years, there wasn't a Harry Potter book in this top ten list. Interestingly enough, the most challenged book last year was Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture, not for language or explicit content, but for inaccuracy and for its political viewpoint?

If we're banning books for those reasons (and Arming America is fraudulent), then I can suggest another worthy entry. But, no, though John O'Neill may have packed his Kerry book with untruths, I still support his right to publish it. (Of course, publishers also have a right to refuse to publish it. That's not censorship. Naturally, Regnery was only too happy to publish the book and that's certainly their right.)

Amnesty International lists authors who are currently being persecuted because of their writing. They also have this poster (PDF) you can print out to promote the week. Scholastic offers advice for teachers on how to promote Banned Books Week when teaching kids and interacting with parents.

Think I'll grab The Chocolate War or The Catcher in the Rye myself, as I've never fully read either. Any other recommendations?

Update: I went to Books-A-Million and bought the above two books, and they didn't even have a Banned Books display for this week. What's up with that?

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