Celebrate a banned book this week


For the last 37 years, one week per year has been set aside as a reminder of our right to read; especially if it’s something someone else doesn’t want you to see.

Through Sunday, Banned Books Week is being promoted by various groups, including the American Library Association.

“Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries,” according to the Banned Books Week Coalition.

In 2018 the American Library Association tracked almost 350 challenges to library, school and university materials and services, and 483 books that were challenged or banned.

Once again, the most challenged materials included LGBTQ content.

Here are the most challenged books of 2018:

  • “George,” by Alex Gino.
  • “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
  • “Captain Underpants” series, written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey
  • “The Hate U Give,” by Angie Thomas
  • “Drama,” written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
  • “Thirteen Reasons Why,” by Jay Asher
  • “This One Summer,” by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
  • “Skippyjon Jones” series, written and illustrated by Judy Schachner
  • “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie
  • “This Day in June,” by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten
  • “Two Boys Kissing,” by David Levithan

There’s nothing wrong with monitoring your family’s reading habits. What is wrong is to issue blanket rules of taste.

Just because you’ve decided something is inappropriate, it doesn’t mean everyone else must live by your same standard.

Freedom of expression is one of those cornerstones of a free society we all too often take for granted. The price we must pay for enjoying this luxury is sticking up for free speech, even — and especially — when it’s controversial.

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