This week is designated as Banned Books Week by the American Library Association. Every year our right to read numerous books, from classics to new releases, is challenged by various groups for various reasons. Perhaps the most prominent recent example are the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. Many ultra-conservative religious groups have deemed that the Harry Potter books promote witchcraft and devil worship in our children. Some groups have gone so far as to burn Harry Potter books .
However, we have a little thing called the First Amendment in this country — we are guaranteed the right to free speech, which includes the right to read books that some people might find offensive. My advice to these groups who would stifle my right to read a Harry Potter book: don’t read the book. That way you aren’t offended, and I retain my right to read the book. Nazis burned books — I would hope that we were more civilized than that.
In honor of Banned Books Week, I collected several books on the 100 most challenged books list (from 1990-2000) that I have read, and will be making Bookcrossing releases of them all week. In addition, I am putting bookmarks in these books acknowledging banned books week and explaining that the book was one of the most frequently challenged books in the 1990s. Feel free to grab the bookmarks and print your own.