It’s Banned Books Week until the 27th. Go read a banned book!
Check out the ALA website for all kinds of information about frequently banned books, events, and stuff you can buy.
The thing about banned books is that anyone, anywhere can take exception to something in a book–and you often find that the person objecting hasn’t even read the book–and try to get it banned.
Sometimes people don’t even intend censorship and it still happens–I remember reading about a parent who simply wanted a warning about graphic content in a book, so parents could decide if they wanted their child to read it or not–and the school responded by removing the book from the reading list.
If you look at the lists, you’ll find classics like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Bluest Eye, or Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl; or more modern favorites like Neverwhere, Looking for Alaska, Persepolis, and Eleanor & Park. To me, it seems that they mostly divide into older or important books about topics that people need to know or think about. Such as issues of growing up, bigotry, fitting in, etc. Or popular books, which may also address important issues–or might perhaps have some profanity or sex that parents don’t want to think their children already know about (or might possibly need to know about.)
While I understand the reasoning behind banning, I think people are better off reading–and thinking–for themselves.