From the American Library Association's website: "Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.
Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.
The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections. Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society."
--- GIVEAWAY ---
I am appalled at some of the books that make this list each year. I understand that every book is not for every reader, but the decision to read or not read a book should be up to the individual, or at the very least, the parents of impressionable children. Whenever I think about banned books, I'm always reminded of that scene in Donnie Darko, at the PTA meeting, when that hag of a teacher, Kitty Farmer, tries to get Graham Greene's The Destructors banned from the curriculum. This same woman believed that Graham Greene was the actor who played "Pa" on Bonanza. (That was Lorne Greene, in case you weren't aware.) Idiocy like that is why no one else should be able to dictate what me or anyone else is allowed to read.
I looked over the list of most frequently challenged books for the last decade or so, and I saw that The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky was often on the list each year. The reasons why this novel was challenged so often per the ALA's website are as follows: anti-family, drugs, homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group. Not only is this a frequently-challenged book, but it's also on its way to the big-screen, with some big names attached to it. I was intrigued, so I decided to read it myself and pick up an extra copy for this giveaway. You can find my review here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And I hope you'll celebrate the freedom to read by visiting the rest of the stops in this giveaway hop!