In 2010, the American Library Association (ALA) reported that 348 books had been challenged by individuals for their content. While many others go unreported, the United States Office of Intellectual Freedom has processed more than 11,000 official content challenge requests since 1982, promoting the ALA to launch the annual Banned Books Week each September. The event draws attention to censorship and brings awareness to the importance of intellectual freedom.
Photo courtesy of bannedbooksweek.org
Maintaining an endorsement from the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, Banned Books Week starts this Saturday, Sept. 24 and runs until Oct. 1. As a part of the festivities, hundreds of bookshops and libraries across the country will cultivate the public’s censorship awareness by displaying a selection of books that have been challenged. In many cases, challenged writing featured in the 2011 Banned Books Week was successfully kept in the collection of libraries and schools, thanks to advocacy by readers, booksellers, and teachers.
Sponsored by a number of organizations including the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; American Society of Journalists and Authors; and Association of American Publishers, 2011 Banned Books Week events are scheduled across the country. In addition, a virtual read-out encourages book lovers from around the world to post YouTube videos of themselves reading portions of challenged books.
The following is a list of the 10 most challenged books in 2010:
“And Tango Makes Three,” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie
“Brave New World,” by Aldous Huxley
“Crank,” by Ellen Hopkins
“The Hunger Games,” series by Suzanne Collins
“Lush,” by Natasha Friend
“What My Mother Doesn’t Know,” by Sonya Sones
“Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America,” by Barbara Ehrenreich
“Revolutionary Voices,” edited by Amy Sonnie
“Twilight,” series by Stephenie Meyer
Full details about 2011 Banned Books Week events are available here.