“It's not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.” — Judy Blume
It’s Banned Books Week this week, and what better way is there to celebrate than to read a book that others have banned or tried to ban from bookshelves. Like To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s only book and one that’s considered one of the twentieth century’s greatest novels. You can see a complete list at the American Library Association’s website, but I’ll list ten that I’ve read and loved at some point in my life.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings—Maya Angelou
The Catcher in the Rye—J.D. Salinger
The Color Purple—Alice Walker
In the Night Kitchen—Maurice Sendak
The Handmaid’s Tale—Margaret Atwood
Brave New World—Aldous Huxley
James and the Giant Peach—Roald Dahl
Ordinary People—Judith Guest
Are You There God?, It’s Me, Margaret—Judy Blume
The House of Spirits—Isabel Allende
You’re surprised by some of the books on the list aren’t you? They seem pretty innocent. But some people wish that these books had never been written or published, and that you'd never seen or read them. You see, they would rather that you don’t think for yourself because thinking for yourself is dangerous. Once you start you might question authority. And who knows where that will lead. And this, in my opinion, is especially important these days with the freedoms we've grown accustomed to under assault.
I know a lot of you share my love for reading, so why not revisit one of these books next time you’re choosing something to read. Be subversive!
“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.”—Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas