Some of you may have heard it’s Banned Books Week. This annual literary event is all about celebrating those taboo books that have made the list of literature we must never (EVER) lay our eyes on according to ‘them.’
Well, we’re creatives. We’ve never been wonderful at following societal expectations.
Why we celebrate banned books
Can you imagine spending all that time writing a book and finally releasing it out in the world, only to have it end up on a list of books people aren’t supposed to read? What a waste. All that blood, sweat, and tears you poured into your book, and now what?
Banned Books Week is all about celebrating our right to read what suits our fancy, spotlighting the historical and current attempts to censor books in schools and libraries. It’s a chance for the book community to unite in shared support against censorship and literary control.
Our favorite banned books
Now, personally– I would love to have a book on the banned book list. Hear me out.
These books are so controversial and debated. Talked about in the media, classrooms, lecture halls, and book clubs. Every single part of the book is dissected over and over again: the good, the bad, the ugly. I mean, guys– is this not an author’s dream?! Throw my books in the fire across the country. At least I know you read them.
You can check out a full list of banned books celebrating this week through Banned & Challenged Books, a website created by the American Library Association specifically dedicated to fighting for intellectual freedom. They even have a Top 10 Most Challenged Book list and a Frequently Challenged Books list you can browse to see if any of your favorites have been flagged.
To celebrate banned books at Moms Who Write, we decided to share a few of our favorites and why we love them. Take a look!
Jill’s Favorite: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
“The reader is forced to see that no single person is a simple, uncomplicated, flat caricature. The book highlights the difficulty Starr, the main character, has navigating two separate worlds, with different slang, different prejudices, and different expectations. The Hate U Give is an exercise in empathy for those whose background, community, and everyday experiences are worlds away from our own.”- Jill Robinson
Kathryn’s Favorite: 1984 by George Orwell
“George Orwell is well-known for its incisively predictive dystopia, in which evil organizations hide behind wholesome facades and a media-controlled frenzy fuels the totalitarianism of government. The terms and phrases from this book–thought crime, “Big Brother is watching”–have become recognizable in everyday language.
However, the warnings which have echoed down generations from this book were not seeded in a sermon. They were woven through a hauntingly crafted journey of love, the meaning of love, and personal discovery. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 1984 is one of the most-banned books in the US.
If you choose to read and find out why I promise you, the rattling final words of this story will stay with you for the rest of your life.”-Kathryn Tamburri
Lacey’s Favorite: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
“The Outsiders is a sad story about a group of young men navigating the world independently as a few do not have parents. They only have each other. They are looked down on but have hearts of gold, even the toughest, Dally, even though he acts like he doesn’t care.
It’s a gripping coming-of-age book with laughs, tears, and even brotherly love between the young men. The book draws you in from the first sentence and holds you until the last word.”- Lacey Gordon
Brigid’s Favorite: The Color Purple by Alice Walker
“The Color Purple was the first book to truly open my eyes to racism. I’d known it was there, but this book illustrated it so clearly to me. This awareness has only grown as I have, and I think it’s made me a better advocate for people of Color and marginalized others.
The Color Purple was also my first introduction to society’s common treatment of women. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was soaking up information about how I –as a woman– might be treated throughout my life and how to stand tall despite it. Even though Celie goes through things as a Black woman that I never will, I still took away her message of strength and endurance as a woman.”- Brigid Levi
Allison’s Favorite: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
“I love that this story covers hard topics – especially from the time when it was written. A time when familial abuse was kept quiet, and Jim Crow laws were abundant. It’s a reflection of its time and how things were starting to change, and I think it’s an important part of our history.”- Allison Wells
Share your favorite banned books with us
Got a favorite banned book of your own? You can drop a comment below to let us know what you think!
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