In 1959, an author and illustrator named Garth Williams wrote a book called The Rabbits’ Wedding. The beautifully illustrated book tells a story of two rabbits – a black one and a white one – that met in a large forest and lived happily ever after.
HOW CONTROVERSIAL, RIGHT?
Lots of folks in the 60’s thought so and for that it was removed from libraries in the South or transferred to reserve shelves because it depicted the marriage of a black rabbit and a white one, leading some to believe it promoted interracial marriage, and was thus inappropriate for children. I am so glad times have changed.
But have they?
For the last 28 years, the American Library Association (ALA) has celebrated the Freedom To Read during it’s annual Banned Books Week, always the last week of September. I know, I know, that was last week. I’ll spare you the details of how hectic last week was and this week will be and tell you that you can see a complete list of banned or challenged books for 2008-2009 here.
On the list? Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling)! Beloved (Tony Morrison)! Catcher In The Rye (J.D. Salinger)! Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain!) And Tango Makes Three (Peter Parnell)! Uncle Bobby’s Wedding (Sarah S. Brannen)!
Wanna read any of these? Better watch out. Each of those and many more have been challenged, restricted, or removed from public libraries because somebody didn’t like them for them, and thus they don’t think they should be available to anybody.
Think this nonsense about book banning only happens in the South? Think again.
Banned Books Week may be over, but you can have an impact any day of the year. Buy a book and donate it to your local library! There are other things you can do, too.