Banned Books Week: What You Need to Know

Censorship is alive and well, as highlighted by Banned Books Week — and you might be surprised by who the most vocal challengers of books are.

The importance of the First Amendment and the concept of "intellectual freedom" might not always be readily apparent to most kids, but Banned Books Week is a great opportunity to make those lessons come alive for children — and adults.

Banned Books Week is held annually during the last week of September (Sept. 30-Oct. 6, 2012). The week is an occasion for libraries and bookstores across the U.S. to help folks realize just how real and ongoing a problem censorship is.

In Brookfield, a challenge to using Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye in the classroom last year led to Board of Education (BOE) members questioning whether it was suitable for high school students and triggered a review of the district's policy for challenging and reviewing books.

The revised policy will not affect the status of The Bluest Eye in Brookfield High School (BHS), as it is being used as "instructional materia" and not a major part of the course curriculum, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"book-review-policy-won-t-extend-to-instructional-materials"} -->, however some have

Vince Dees September 17, 2012 at 01:32 PM
as a professor of philosophy I must admit I do not do much reading outside of my sphere...so I cannot comment on many of those "non-related" books...BUT TO BAN ORWELL AND HUXLEY...wow....so sad, they were "bibles" of my long ago youth...
Rob Gianazza September 17, 2012 at 01:59 PM
I'm confused about the words banned and censorship? Aren't these books available at amazon.com? The public library? Barnes and Noble? Walden Books, etc.? What about other classics and best sellers like Uncle Tom's Cabin and Huckleberry Finn? I find the words censorship and banned are used to stimulate emotions. So let's really examine why the author uses such words so recklessly. Just recently attacks on US Embassies and the murder of American citizens took place in the Middle East because some people were offended by the words of others. Let's be truthful, no books were burned in a barrel. They are still available for you to purchase and read at your leisure. No one will come to your home to confiscate them, nor is it illegal to be in possession of such books. So what is all this talk about banned and censorship?
Ben Lasser September 17, 2012 at 01:59 PM
apropos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLprbWMd8mM
Ben Lasser September 17, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Mr. Gianazza. The author of this article is writing about Banned Books Week, which is an annual occurrence designed to raise awareness about censorship in the united states. Since that is the language that is being used by the sponsoring organization, you can hardly fault the author of the article for using that language. You can find more about Banned Books Week here: http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/ And its sponsoring organization here: http://www.ala.org/aboutala/missionhistory
Rob Gianazza September 17, 2012 at 09:55 PM
You certainly are your father's son. I find fault with the author and the organization as my comments are relevant to both. The words are used to incite an emotional response. And to my knowledge it is not a crime to be in possession of any of these books. So words like "banned" and "censorship" are inflammatory.
Ben Lasser September 17, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Thank you for the compliment. If you look at the entirety of this article, "banned" is used 8 times in the body of the text. All but two of them are used within the phrase "Banned Books Week" (which is the name of the event, so it's difficult to avoid that work in those instances.) The first time it is used outside of that context is halfway down the article when it links to a list of "banned and challenged classics," which is actually the name of the list that is linked to. The second time is in the final line where the author asks, "Do you think books should be banned?" "Censorship" is written three times in the body of the text (the same amount of times you yourself write it) the first time to explain the purpose of Banned Books Week, the second to explain how something was not censored, and the third is the title of a link. So given that the author did not, in fact, "recklessly" use the two words in question, but simply applied them as necessary, perhaps you are simply reacting strongly to an article that hits a bit close to home?
H. Ferguson September 17, 2012 at 10:32 PM
The new book entitled, "No Easy Day" will probably be banned in many places. And of course, the decision not to release photos of OBL’s body was a no-brainer as well
Hermann Zwergel September 18, 2012 at 04:03 AM
thank goodness that the Sarah Palins of the world are a joke....
sock puppet September 18, 2012 at 07:37 AM
free speech zones are censorship too
John Mainhart September 18, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Our Children are the most precioius gift we will ever receive from God. The adults of the community I grew up in were more than willing to protect the youth from sexually promiscuous material so they could become mature enough to assume a responsible attitude toward sex and enjoy the love that it should include.
Ben Lasser September 18, 2012 at 09:05 PM
As someone who was raised in a den of sin, we should compare notes sometime and see who has had better sex.


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