Banned Books Week, a national celebration of the freedom to read, will be held from Saturday through Oct. 2 at libraries and bookstores across America.
It was launched in 1982 by the American Library Association in response to a surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, stores and libraries. More than 1,000 books have been challenged since 1982, and there were 460 challenges reported to the ALAs office of Intellectual Freedom in 2009.
The nearest and most recent challenge came in 2007 in Alamosa when Philip Pullmans The Golden Compass was pulled from shelves at Ortega Middle School in Alamosa for what critics regard as the books anti-religious views. District officials later returned the book to circulation.
The Top 10 banned books in the U.S. in 2009 and the reasons for banning:
1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle (nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, drugs and unsuited to age group).
2. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson (homosexuality).
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky (drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide and unsuited to age group).
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (racism, offensive language, unsuited to age group).
5. Twilight (series), by Stephanie Meyer (sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group).
6. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger (sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group).
7. My Sisters Keeper, by Jodi Picoult (sexism, homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group, drugs, suicide, violence).
8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler (sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group).
9. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker (sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group).
10. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier (nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group)
Locally, Marias Bookshop will feature a Banned Books window display with a collection of books that have been banned. Also, previously banned books on Marias shelves will be marked with bright orange markers during Banned Books Week.
Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Association of College Stores.
Banned Books Week is also endorsed by the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress.