Happy Banned Books Week

Photo by Markus Spiske/Unsplash

Sometimes, these days, it’s better to laugh than cry. You know: when life gives you lemons, chug some lemonade.

The lemonade in the banned book scenario is a brand new reading list: created for us by those who would restrict what we’d read. Thankfully, it doesn’t work that way. Not sure what to read this week? Choose one of these.

Photo by Brittney Weng/Unsplash

And we can make light (back to that laugh so you don’t cry scenario) but the reality is, it’s been a pretty tough few years for human rights. If you’ve been paying attention over the last while, you will know that there have never been more challenges to books. By all accounts, a relatively small number of people are calling for bans on a large number of books. For some people, it’s even kind of a hobby. Which seems senseless. After all: there are so many books for a reason. All of our tastes and needs are different. Don’t like a book? Don’t read it. Don’t want your kid to read it? Why are you so insecure about the teachings you’ve been instilling at home? If you are on the side of right, you have no fear about what your kids are reading. You’re only glad your kids are reading. And you are confident in the knowledge that reading all over the place will instruct and fuel your child’s heart.

Not everyone feels that way. As a result, 2023 was a record year in challenges to books. So, yeah: here’s your 2023 reading list. These books have had a lot of challenges in many parts of the US. Choose one or choose them all, but let’s use the Banned Books List to inform at least a portion of all of our reading.

For a pile of wonderful Banned Book Week resources, visit the ALA web site resource page here.

Need more to read? See an article we published earlier in 2023 with still more selections from the Banned Book Shelves.

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