I meant to post about this sooner, but this week -- September 29th through October 6th -- is Banned Books Week. One of my local libraries has posted a list of the 10 Most Challenged Books of 2006.
The banning and challenging of books is one of those things that gets me hopping mad. I believe wholeheartedly in the right to read what you want. I believe that kids have this right, too, although of course that doesn't absolve the parents of the responsibility of teaching their kids. Kids don't always know appropriate ways to think or react to something they read, but in order to learn that they need to be 1) exposed to a full range of books, and 2) taught critical thinking skills as applied to said books, preferrably by their parents.
Some of my favorite books are banned books. For instance, The Giver has been challenged repeatedly, yet I can't think of many young adult books that are more important or more moving. And of course, we can't forget my hero, Judy Blume, who has a knack for getting right to the heart of a matter (and inevitably pissing off lots of narrow-minded people).
Support Banned Books Week and read a banned or challenged book this week!