As some of you may know, Banned Books Week begins tomorrow. And, no, it’s not a seven-day period where enraged fundamentalists and overly protective parents join together to see who can burn the most Harold Robbins’ and Harry Potter novels.
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment, according to the American Library Association.
It “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,” according to the organization.
Consider some of the books that were banned, challenged, restricted or removed between May 2010 and May 2011:
- Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl – This longtime staple of high school English classes was challenged by a parent in the Culpeper County, Va., public schools in 2010. The parent requested that her daughter not be required to read the book aloud. Initially, it was reported that officials decided to stop assigning a version of Anne Frank’s diary. The director of instruction announced the edition published on the 50th anniversary of Frank’s death in a Nazi concentration camp will not be used in the future despite the fact the school system did not follow its own policy for handling complaints. The superintendent said, however, that the book will remain a part of English classes, although it may be taught at a different grade level. (Did no one see the irony in trying to ban a book written by a girl who was killed by a regime that specialized in banning books?)
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