Banned Books Week

This week is Banned Books Week. This is an annual event held primarily in the US to celebrate freedom of expression and reading.

Over the years, a number of books have been banned both in Australia and overseas for reasons that include offensive language, sexuality and 'immorality'. Some of these bans have been imposed by schools, churches, States and even National governments.

To celebrate banned books week, how about checking out some of these books that have been banned in the past. They sound too good to pass up:

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.
This is a story told by a 17-year-old boy who has just been kicked out of his 4th school. Throughout the book Holden comments on society with all its 'phoniness'. This book was banned and challenged in numerous US schools for being anti-christian, anti-white and obscene.

1984 by George Orwell
This is where the famous idea of 'Big Brother is watching you' came from. Set in a future where the world is ruled by a totalitarian regime complete with the 'Thought Police' this tells the story of those that try to rebel against the system . . . and the consequences of their rebellion. This was actually banned in the USSR for being too anti-communist and banned in Florida for being too communist.

The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
We all know the fantasy story of Frodo and his band of Hobbits, Wizards and Elves on their journey to destroy a powerful ring before it destroys them. If you don't, there are three 3-hour movies you could watch. This was not so much banned but burned outside a community church in the US as it was considered satanic.

How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
The story of a 10-year old boy who is dared to eat 15 worms in 15 days or risk being called a 'chicken' for life. This has been banned in the past as it was felt it promoted inappropriate behaviour in children and gambling.

Gossip Girl by Cecily Von Ziegesar
This series of books for young adults reveals the loves and lives of a group of rich, spoilt teenagers. It has also been made into a TV series. It has been banned in places for references to sex and drugs.

Now over to you.

What do you think of the idea of banning books?

Do you know of any good books that have been banned or challenged by certain institutions that you'd recommend?