Boise Celebrates Banned Books This Week
Sometimes books like "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "The Catcher in the Rye," and "To Kill a Mockingbird" are banned from curriculums and school libraries because of challenges made by parents or administrators. Those books and others are being celebrated this week in Boise.
Local libraries will join thousands of libraries and bookstores across the country in sponsoring Banned Books Week today through Saturday, September 28. The aim is to celebrate the right to access books without censorship.
Every year, the American Library Association urges support for Banned Books Week to keep access to books open and unrestricted. Boise Weekly says challenges at the Boise Public Library are rare, but there have been four of those in the past year. The library takes the challenges seriously and also does extensive research to "ensure that the items in question are placed appropriately and the concerns of challengers are respected."
The ALA says these were among the most challenged books in 2018:
George by Alex Gino
Reasons: banned, challenged, and relocated because it was believed to encourage children to clear browser history and change their bodies using hormones, and for mentioning “dirty magazines,” describing male anatomy, “creating confusion,” and including a transgender character
Captain Underpants series written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey
Reasons: series was challenged because it was perceived as encouraging disruptive behavior, while Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot was challenged for including a same-sex couple
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Reasons: banned and challenged because it was deemed “anti-cop,” and for profanity, drug use, and sexual references
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: banned and challenged for sexual references, profanity, violence, gambling, and underage drinking, and for its religious viewpoint
The ALA also says most challenges are unsuccessful. Supporting Banned Books Week means you want to give everyone the right to choose whether to read a book or not, rather than restrict the choices.
This week at work might get interesting if you chat with your co-workers about all of the banned and challenged books you've read in your lifetimes. If they made all of these books into movies, do you think the movies would be challenged?