It's that time of year: Banned Book Week! From September 24th- October 1st, it's all about the poor novels that have been censored, burned, taken away, etc., etc. I think it's fantastic that these neglected books get the chance to be recognized for what they are (at least, for the most part): wonderful, insightful reads.
Censorship has always been a passionate subject for me, especially when pertaining to YA lit. When you're a teenager, it's your time to form your own opinions and thoughts, and you can't do that if half of the ideas out there are hidden from you. It seems people have this constant fear that if teens find out the world they live in can be a dark and scary place, they'll implode or something. But it's reading about these subjects that can save them from reaching that breaking point, that can teach them lessons, and help them grow. I know that if you're reading this, you understand this already.
So, in honor of BBW, I made a little list of some of the challenged/censored books that have touched my life. Here they are, in no particular order...
1. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: It doesn't matter whether you've gone through what Melinda went through or not. Almost anyone can relate to this book. Ms. Anderson herself is a strong advocate of intellectual freedom and I strongly advise you to check out her website!
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: It's a tale about overcoming racism and social divides. It's simply wrong to ban a book like this one.
3. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger: Do I even have to explain what makes this amazing?
4. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: It's a book about growing up, facing your fears, and living with the past, set in a school for witches and wizards. Challenged due to religious reasons, it seems people have forgotten that it was marked under fiction.
5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: This book is violent, no doubt about it, but I think what really scares people is what it reveals about human nature.
What banned books have you read or will be reading? Have they affected your life in any way?