This week is Banned Books Week and its celebration has always been very fascinating to us. We spent a lot of our time growing up in the library and we also had parents that loved books. Not being allowed to read a book was a strange concept to us.
Banned Books Week was started in 1982 by the American Library Association “in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries.” You can see a list of the top 10 books challenged in 2015 here. The celebration was also created to support the freedom to read in the US.
On the list of top 100 banned books from 2000-2009 has both contemporary books and classics on it. It is also interesting that a handful of the classic books on the list were required reading while we were in school. ?
Number 1 on the list: The entire Harry Potter Series
Harry Potter being number 1 on the list was surprising, apparently a lot of people are against wizards and magic. We loved these books, just like a large amount of the world. We were so devoted to the books, we had to buy two copies of every book so we could read them at the same time. We also own all the audiobooks, narrated by Jim Dale, as well as the British editions, ordered from amazon.co.uk.
Number 21 on the list: To Kill a Mockingbird
This book was required reading in our middle school and we both loved it. The storytelling ability of Harper Lee was excellent even though the subject matter was difficult. Boo Radley was our favorite character. We have the sequel, Go Set a Watchman, but haven’t read it yet.
Number 23 on the list: The Giver
Mac read this book in school and found it intriguing. However, it wasn’t until after rereading this book and the other three in the Quartet a couple years ago did the series really strike a cord. The Giver Quartet is an ambitious exploration of conformity, rebellion, and freedom, which Mac highly recommends.
Number 32 on the list: Bless Me, Ultima
This was another book that was required reading in middle school. This book could be seen as controversial since it involves some mysticism and non-Christian spiritual guidance. According to Wikipedia, this book was the most challenged book in the US in 2013.
Number 94 on the list: The entire Goosebumps series
Before Harry Potter, there was Goosebumps in our lives. We loved reading them, even if they did scare us a little. We would wait and wait until the next one came out. The cover of Stay Out of the Basement really creeped Mac out, along with Why I’m Afraid of Bees.
Are some of your favorite books on the Banned Books List?