This week, in libraries across the nation, we celebrate Banned Books Week and the freedom to read freely. Believe it or not, every year, there are hundreds of attempts to remove books from schools and libraries.
Since the establishment of Banned Books Week in 1982, over 11 thousand books have been challenged.
Just recently, Alex Gino’s George and Kate Messner’s The Seventh Wish have caused quite a stir over the content of their books; schools have even told authors to stay away. Kate Messner was abruptly disinvited 24 hours before a school visit, despite booking the event months in advance and sharing an advanced copy of the book with the school, due the sensitive nature of one of the themes in The Seventh Wish – addiction.
So...who’s challenging library books, and why do they want them removed?
Roughly 40% of book challenges come from parents, and the reasons for them are numerous. The most common reasons for challenging a book are being sexually explicit, having offensive language, and its age-appropriateness.
Have you read a banned book? Chances are you have and didn’t even know it! Seventy-two of the top 100 books challenged from 2000-2009 are children’s and young adult books.