Monday, September 27, 2010

Banned Book Week

Library at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Check out the blog post at my publisher’s blog on September 25th at Redlines and Deadlines ( It’s about National Banned Book Week September 25- October 2, 2010. This is an annual event sponsored by booksellers, libraries and publishing organizations to celebrate the freedom to read.

The slogan this year is “Think for yourself and let others do the same.”

Here’s a link to the list of the top 100 banned books from 2000-2009: Some of the titles may surprise you.
A few of the books on the list include the Harry Poster series by J. K. Rowling; Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain; The Color Purple by Alice Walker; To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson; Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley; Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut; Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury.

Ray Bradbury’s book, Fahrenheit 451, truly surprised me since it’s a story about banning and burning books to the extreme. Check out the complete list. I have to smile because many of the books on the list were required reading when I was in school. Hats off to the New Jersey school system!

Abbey Library St. Gallen, Switzerland

Books are challenged, according to the American Library Association, to protect others, mostly children from difficult ideas and information. Shouldn’t that be the parents’ and teachers’ decision? Books should never be banned. A warning as to the content should be sufficient. And parents should monitor what their children read and watch on TV.

The top three reasons that cause a book to be challenged:
The material is sexual explicit.
The material contains offensive language.
The material is unsuited for all age groups.

To protect our First Amendment rights, Noam Chomsky said, “If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.”

Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas said, “Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.”


Amber Skyze said...

Wow that library is amazing. I laughed at some of the banned books. I've read quite a few.

Can't wait to see you! :)

Kathy Kulig said...

When I walked inside the Trinity Library, it took my breath away. I'll have to write up more on a later post. There are a number of beautiful libraries around the world that house books as sacred treasures-which they are!

Regina Carlysle said...

The book list is astonishing. Very scary to imagine anyone could have a problem with these. I have to say this library is breathtaking. You can imagine the quiet and of course the splendor is just THERE. Soooo cool.

Kathy Kulig said...

It is scary Regina. You can smell the old books in that library. No photo taking is allowed even without flash. I saw a teenage girl snap a couple quick photos and a guard marched over snatched her camera and deleted the photos. She was lucky to get her camera back. Signs are everywhere "No photography". Some people don't think the rules apply to them or don't read signs.

J Hali said...

Both of these libraries are amazing, Kathy. Thanks for sharing the photo of your visit to Trinity Library--awesome! When I read the list, I was shocked.

God bless my mother for giving me many great books to read when I was a teenager: Steinbeck, D.H. Lawrence, Ayn Rand--all marvelous writers. To Kill a Mockingbird was suggested to me by a teacher when I was a student--I, too, take my hat off to the school district I was in.