Banned Book Week is an annual event centered celebrating the freedom to read without restriction. We sometimes think of censorship as a thing of the past, but every year the American Library Association reports hundreds of books being challenged in libraries and schools across the nation. In 2013, there were challenges to everything from Fifty Shades of Grey to Captain Underpants (Seriously? Captain Underpants?).
Every year when Banned Book Week rolls around I can't help but picture the events Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (which is, poetically, one of the many banned books). I picture peoples' houses being raided, novels ripped from secret shelves, the smoke from the book bonfires ripping through the night sky. Dramatic though that image may be, it's what my mind conjures up every time I hear of another attempt at book censorship.
Here's just a few of some of our most beloved stories that have been previously challenged:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Imagine what life would be like without some of these amazing classics. So read a banned book, check out the Banned Book Week calendar of events here, blog, tweet #FreetoRead14 or find some small way to help fight censorship this week (September 21-27)!