Posted by: Burlington Public Library (WA) | September 30, 2010

Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Have you read any banned books lately? I’m happy to say I’ve read quite a few. Here’s a sampling of my subversive reading: The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger; To Kill a Mockingbird, by Lee; Gone With the Wind, by Mitchell;The Fountainhead, by Rand; My Antonia, by Cather; The Wind in the Willows, by Grahame; The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963, by Curtis; A Light in the Attic, by Silverstein; Charlotte’s Web, by White; In the Night Kitchen, by Sendak; and The Stupids, by Allard and Marshall—that last being the first book in one of my family’s favorite children’s series.

September 25-October 2 is the annual celebration of Banned Books Week, and here’s what the American Library Association has to say about this event: “Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week.  BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.”

So if you are looking for some subversive reading, check out this list of 100 Banned and/or Challenged Classics.




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