This past Saturday kicked off Banned Books Week, an 8-day celebration of books targeted for censorship and complaints.
There are many ways to take part in this annual event. The Crash Pad puppets celebrated with a video (embedded above), spreading an anti-censorship message for Internet viewers everywhere. The New York Times published ten of other ways to celebrate.
Here are three of our favorite suggestions from the article:
-Research the history behind the challenges.
-Write a personal essay recording your experiences reading a banned book.
-Create a book club around banned books.
UPDATE: Housing Works is throwing a party tomorrow: “Mike Edison (author of I Have Fun Everywhere I Go), Herald Price Fahringer (First Amendment lawyer and activist), and Richard Nash (Cursor publisher) headline a presentation celebrating the American Library Association’s ‘Banned Book Week.'”
Besides the ten most challenged books, other recently censored titles include: Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology, The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. A New Jersey librarian called Revolutionary Voices “child pornography” and pulled it from the shelf. A Canadian ferry company deemed Lyon’s book cover to be too racy. Alexie’s young-adult title contains too much profanity for a Missouri school board. Finally, Anderon’s Printz Honor book was recently declared “soft pornography” by a Missouri college professor.