19 Controversial Books to Read with Your Book Club

Cover: To Kill a Mockingbird

Source: 19 Controversial Books to Read with Your Book Club

Are you looking for a bold new book that’s sure to get conversation going with your book club? We’ve compiled a list of some of the most controversial books included on the American Library Association’s annual list of books that have recently been restricted, removed, or banned. From beloved classics to modern fiction, these thought-provoking reads are sure to get tongues wagging at your next book club meeting.

7 Ways to Celebrate Banned Books Week | Bookish

Source: 7 Ways to Celebrate Banned Books Week | Bookish

Did you know that every year hundreds of books are challenged across America? Banned Books Week is an annual awareness campaign that reminds the literary community of the importance of speaking out against book banning and supporting our freedom to read. This year Banned Books Week takes place between September 23 and 29. To help you get involved, we’ve put together a list of seven ways to celebrate Banned Books Week.

13 Banned Books That Will Always Have a Place on Our Shelves

Off the Shelf celebrates Banned Book Week with a list of inspiring books that have been banned throughout literary history, including “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel. Visit BannedBooks.org and ALA.org for more information.

Source: 13 Banned Books That Will Always Have a Place on Our Shelves

This list contains some books challenged in recent years, not just the same classics that are perennially challenged. How many of these banned books have you read? I’ve read six.

What the List of Most Banned Books Says About Our Society’s Fears | TIME

Censors are increasingly focusing on books that represent diverse points of view

Source: What the List of Most Banned Books Says About Our Society’s Fears | TIME


In honor of Banned Books Week, Time looks at how the focus of book challenges has changed over the past several years.

Banned Books Week 2015 (September 27–October 3)

(Artwork above courtesy of the American Library Association)

Banned Book Week is an annual event celebrating the right to read usually held during the last week of September. It’s sponsored by the following organizations:

American Booksellers Association

American Booksellers for Free Expression

American Library Association

American Society of Journalists and Authors

Association of American Publishers

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

Freedom to Read Foundation

National Coalition Against Censorship

National Council of Teachers of English

National Association of College Stores

People for the American Way

PEN American Center

Project Censored

It is also endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

I Read Banned Books
Celebrate the freedom to read

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict the availability of specified materials. A banning is the removal of materials:

Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.

Read more about who challenges books and why at the ALA FAQ page about banned and challenged books.

Check the American Library Association’s Frequently Challenged Books list for 2014. Some of the titles might surprise you.

You can also see statistics in the form of infographics on the number of challenges by reasons, challenges by initiator, and challenges by institution.

Monday Miscellany: Banned Books Week Ed.

Banned Books Week

September 30 — October 6

Banned Book Week
Participate in Banned Book Week


Banned Books Week at 30: New and Notable Efforts

Publishers Weekly has a good overview of Banned Books Week in honor of its 30th anniversary.

How to teach your child to love reading

Girls readingThis article comes from a newspaper in the United Kingdom, but the content seems pertinent for the U. S. as well. Susan Elkin,  author of Unlocking the Reader in Every Child (Ransom, 2010) and Encouraging Reading (Continuum, 2007), offers some sobering statistics:

As tens of thousands of children returned to school earlier this month, the National Literacy Trust’s report Children’s and Young People’s Reading Today informed us that only 30 per cent of children and teenagers read books daily in their own time. In 2005, the figure was 40 per cent.

Children learn the rudimentary decoding skills of reading at school, but to become competent readers they need practice:

The best place for a child to do that essential daily practice – which should quickly become a pleasure rather than a chore – is at home. That means taking children to libraries and/or buying them books. It means turning off (most) screens and certainly getting television sets, laptops, phones, games consoles and the like out of children’s bedrooms – or, better still, don’t put them in there in the first place.

The most effective way parents can help their children learn to love reading is by modeling it:

The most useful thing parents can do to encourage children and teenagers to read is to be seen reading a lot themselves. Parents who say they are “too busy to read” simply convey the message that reading is beneath the attention of important grown-ups. “Do as I say but not as I do” cuts no ice with children. They will quickly stop reading because not reading will be seen as “cool” and “adult”.

The 10 Best Narrators in Literature

Antoine Wilson, author of Panorama City, discusses his ten favorite fictional narrators for Publishers Weekly’s Tip Sheet. There are really 20 discussions here, as Wilson includes an alternate for each of his choices.

Wilson’s annotations of his choices provide a good example of how to evaluate the narrator of a work of fiction. Since one of the first things authors must decide is whose story they are telling, getting to know the narrator is often the key to understanding the work.

On a personal note, my thanks to PW for putting all 10 books on one page instead of making us click through single pages for each title.

Watch a novel being written ‘live’

Fantasy author Silvia Hartmann is offering readers the chance to watch her novel taking shape, word by word, on a Google document. If you’re an aspiring writer yourself, or if you just want to take a look at one author’s writing process, here’s your chance.

Follow the link in this article from The Guardian to Hartmann’s Google doc.

I Read Banned Books
Celebrate the freedom to read