Librarians and others celebrate the freedom to read during the Banned Books Week, reports the American Library Association on its website. Mining the site takes one to the list of nearly 50 most challenged novels, with links to sources for a list of 100--and the reasons the books were challenged. The reasons span from foreign governments banning a book for political reasons to the inclusion of profanity or other unacceptable words, sex, or violence that would make the book unsuitable for high school library use. The 50 listed on the web page are, for the most part, American classics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Slaughterhouse Five, Animal Farm, etc. Surprisingly, Lord of the Rings is on the list, as is Call of the Wild.
Librarians and other groups and citizens fought to keep the books available in libraries, even high school libraries in many instances. So they are. It is the American way to read provocative, controversial books and to reflect on our lives and future through the lens offered by such amazing authors.