Don't Read These Books! (Actually, please do.)

The last week of September is Banned Books Week.

What are banned books? Well, I’m glad you asked! Banned books are books that have been challenged at one point or another by a citizen with good intentions. Usually they are banned for reasons such as sexual content, profane language, violence, drug use, and even homosexuality. But there are many other reasons why a book might be banned, too. For example, the Harry Potter series has been challenged or banned multiple times for “witchcraft.”

So, why do libraries and educators across the country celebrate controversial books? Because we are celebrating the freedom to read. Freedom to read ideas and thoughts is very important. If books were censored, that means the information and knowledge we get would be censored too, which would basically be the equivalent of forcing ignorance and inhibiting growth and development. Besides, who is to say what should be banned and what shouldn’t be? This question is a heavy one, and I encourage anyone with answers to comment with what they think about these shenanigans.

Here is a website with more information on Banned Books Week, and why we celebrate it and encourage people to read banned books: https://bannedbooksweek.org/about/

For the next two weeks or so, there will be a banned books display in the YA room. We have placed challenged or banned books in brown paper sacks. On those sacks, we wrote why it was banned. You’ll find some interesting and possibly shocking reasons written on those bags! And you might be surprised to discover that many of your favorite books have been banned. Did you know that The Hunger Games has been challenged for violence and religious viewpoints? Or that the Vampire Academy series has been banned for nudity and sexual content? That 13 Reasons Why was banned for sexually explicit content and suicide? If you have already read a banned or challenged book, let us know what it was in the comments!

There are dozens more books on display at the Beauregard Parish Library DeRidder branch in the YA room. Come read why some of these books were banned, and check one out! Celebrate your freedom to read! Read banned books!