It's not too late to celebrate Banned Books Week
Today, October 1, 2016, is the last day of Banned Books Week 2016.
According the website, Banned Books Week was launched all the way back in 1982 in response to the "number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries." This year, the coalition turns its focus on an important subject: that banning books often marginalizes children.
Just take a look at the annual most challenged books from 2015, and you'll notice a pattern: many of them feature protagonists who are homosexual, transgender, or from a particular religious background. The fact that the Bible is on the list just gives you an idea of how absurd some of these decisions are. It's not secret too that some of our most treasured literary classics were, at one point, banned for one reason or another.
This is a delicate topic for me. I work with middle school students, and I see some of them reading Looking for Alaska, which has some blatantly sexual content, and I freak out. I do believe that we need to protect children from content that they might not be ready for, but banning books outright isn't the way to go. Rather, I think there should be more access to resources for parents that help them navigate what books, movies and TV shows are appropriate for their children. Common Sense Media is a great site that breaks these things down by content and offers helpful topics for discussion. More sites or resources like this are needed.
So, which books on this year's banned books list have you read? If you haven't read one yet, celebrate Banned Books Week by reading one today!