Banned Book Week: Celebrate the Freedom To Read~September 25-October 2, 2010

Some things never change…the Puritans brought censorship to America with Boston being the center in the early 20th century. Censorship, as a subject, makes for a great conversation —most people have strong opinions on the subject.

There is a part of me that enjoys seeing some of my favorite books on the list of challenged or banned books. The following are just a few of my all time favorites.

Places I Never Meant to Be: Original Stories by Censored Writers, Ed Judy Blume is a terrific book that takes you inside the subject by showing how censorship affect writers.

The book is a collection of some of the most distinguished writers of young adult fiction who have been the target of censorship. Each writer contributes an original story as well as their personal observations and feelings on their own experiences of being under attack. After reading this provocative collection, it will be difficult to think of censorship in the same old way. That might just be a very good definition of a good book—it changes the way you think and see a situation.

Here is a sampling of some of my other favorite evergreen-censored books:

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
Hatchet, Gary Paulsen
The Lorax, Dr.Seuss
1984, George Orwell
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Ann Frank
Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, William Steig
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
The Pigman, Paul Zindel
Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling

The following are several questions to jump-start a conversation on censorship with your family:
~  Is there such a thing as a little bit of censorship?
~ Are books banned in the United States?
~ Can a best seller be a banned book?
~ Should books should be allowed to be “challenged” or banned?
~ Do you have a favorite book that is found on the list of challenged books and what might be some of the reasons the book found itself on that list?

For more information on Banned Book Week see


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