It's Banned Book Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read.
Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.
Cheryl Rainfield (author of SCARS) made a great post recently about Banned Book Week and issued a challenge:
I hope you’ll consider buying (or borrowing) and reading some of these banned books–and sharing them with others. I hope, too, that you’ll speak out about book banning–write a post about it, share your thoughts on FaceBook or Twitter.
As Cheryl pointed out recently on her blog, you might be surprised at some of the books on the ALA's list of Top 100 Banned Books list (past decade): Harry Potter, for instance. But it's true.
I'm going to go through this list and make a point of reading as many of these banned books as I can.
I feel very lucky to have grown up in an area where books were never banned, but some children aren't as lucky. I'm also naive enough to still be shocked by the depth of ignorance shown by adults in modern-day society, like when an associate professor condemns books like Laurie Halse Anderson's brilliant SPEAK as "soft core pornography."
You can follow the #SpeakLoudly discussion on Twitter.
Find out more about Cheryl Rainfield and her book SCARS at http://www.cherylrainfield.com/.