Freedom to Read

FreedomToReadEvery year at the end of February, libraries across Canada celebrate Freedom to Read week to encourage people to exercise their intellectual freedom. The American Library Association defines intellectual freedom as “the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction.” This right is guaranteed to all Canadians under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and only illegal materials (e.g. hate propaganda) are exempt from this rule . Censorship occurs when other people try to restrict your intellectual freedom (except your parents/guardians, who can determine what is acceptable for you to read and watch until you are 18).

Librarians play a major role in upholding intellectual freedom. They provide free access to books and other materials that represent  different viewpoints on a wide range of topics, allowing you to form your own opinions on a subject. Librarians also fight censorship, which often occurs in library as a book ban or – more commonly –  a book challenge. A book challenge is when someone requests that a library remove a book from its shelves because they consider the content to be inappropriate, offensive, or even dangerous. When a challenge is successful, the book is banned.

Book bans and challenges are most often directed at books for children and teens. These challenges are intiated by adults who decide not just that their child should not read a particular book, but that no child should read it. Popular reasons for challenging a book include: profanity, sex, homosexuality, drug/alcohol use, violence, and religious viewpoint. Usually censors haven’t read the book they’re challenging and take the offending language/action completely out of context.

No one has the right to tell you not to read a book because they don’t agree with it. So stand up for your intellectual freedom and check out one of these frequently challenged books in North America from the PDHS Library this week.

AnimalFarmAnneFrankBloodAndChocolateBraveNewWorldCatcherInTheRye

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Animal Farm George Orwell
    • Reason for challenge: political viewpoint
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
    • Reasons for challenge: sexual material and homosexual themes.
  • Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
    • Reasons for challenge: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    • Reasons for challenge: insensitivity, nudity, racism, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
    • Reasons for challenge: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

ChocolateWarCrankGoldenCompassGossipGirlHarryPotterPhilosophersStone

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
    • Reasons for challenge: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  • Crank by Ellen Hopkins
    • Reasons for challenge: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit
  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
    • Reasons for challenge: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, violence
  • Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    • Reasons for challenge: drugs offensive language sexually explicit
  • Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (most banned series between 2000-2010)
    • Reasons for challenge: occult/satanism, violence

HungerGamesIKnowWhyTheCagedBirdSingsKiteRunner

LushMySistersKeeper 

 

 

 

 

  • The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
    • Reasons for challenge: anti-ethnic, anti-family, insensitivity, offensive language, occult/satanic, violence
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
    • Reasons for challenge: offensive language, sexually explicit, violence, unsuited to age group
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
    • Reasons for challenge: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  • Lush by Natasha Friend
    • Reasons for challenge: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
    • Reasons for challenge: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, violence, unsuited to age group

perksofbeingawallflowerToKillAMockingbirdVampireAcademy

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    • Reasons for challenge: anti-family, drugs, homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited to age group
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    • Reasons for challenge: offensive language, racism
  • Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
    • Reasons for challenge: sexual content, nudity

Information on challenged and banned books obtained from The American Library Association website.

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Posted on February 26, 2013, in Book Lists, Events and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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