Banned Books Week starts today Sunday 21st September and finishes Saturday 27th. Books have been banned or challenged over the years for a variety of reasons. A challenged book is when a formal, written complaint, has been filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of its content or appropriateness. Books have been banned or challenged because of religious content, racism, sexual content, homosexuality, drugs, violence, being occult, having a political stand point and not being suitable for the age group.
Popular books such as the Harry Potter series and The Hunger Games trilogy have been challenged more than once over the years. It’s hard to imagine books that could possibly end up being genre defining and possibly even classics were challenged for being unsuited to age group, anti-family, occult/Satanism, and having a religious viewpoint and violence. Quite often it is children’s books that are challenged, both those aimed at children and young adults and those taught in schools.
To celebrate Banned Books Week I’m going to read a book that was challenged for being anti-Christian and pornographic and it was number 37 on the American Library Association’s 100 most frequently challenged books between 1990 and 2000 – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. It is the only banned/challenged book that I own that I have yet to read so during Banned Books Week is the perfect opportunity.
I have heard mixed things about The Handmaid’s Tale. One friend said it’s amazing and that I must read it as soon as possible while another said they hated it and it wasn’t as feminist people make out. I’m interested to see what I make of it. Are you going to be reading any banned books this week?