Banned Books Week celebrates our freedom to read as outlined in the First Amendment as well as the Library Bill of Rights. Many books and graphic novels, including such classics as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Wizard of Oz, and even Winnie the Pooh, have been banned, challenged, censored, and even burned. Most often the reason these books are banned or challenged is to keep younger readers from being exposed to them. The American Librarian Association and the Freedom to Read Foundation work to ensure that teens are afforded their First Amendment Right, the Freedom to Read. A parent may choose to prevent their child from reading a certain book, but to ensure that no-one has access to the book is beyond their rights and beyond reason. That’s why this year, for the first time ever, the Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library has a Banned Books display in the TeenZone containing a few of the books that have been banned or challenged throughout the nation. Included in the display are books of all different genres, from fantasy (Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere) to non-fiction (The Diary of Anne Frank). Even the ever popular Harry Potter books and Hungergames Triology can be found among the books that have been banned or challenged, be it for violent content or for something as simple as mentioning magic.
This week, be sure to join the conversation by getting caught with a banned book! Use the hashtag #bannedbooks on twitter or instagram with your banned book. You can also follow the TeenZone instagram at “teenzonemcnpl”.
Comics are frequently banned as well
If you’re a fan of comics, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has a website showcasing banned comics and graphic novels with information on who banned them and why. Check it out by clicking here. Some of these comics are also included in the TeenZone display.
Banned Books week this year is the week of Sept 21-27, but the display will remain throughout the month of September. Please keep in mind that while this is all about the freedom to read, many of these books/comics are intended for teens age 13 and up.