Can You Spot These Books? POP Celebrates Banned Books Week 2015

Are there books missing in our community? Would you even notice if there were?

The freedom to read affects more than your access to certain specific titles. Censorship is a creeping shadow that, when let into communities, can envelop everything from school reading lists to the holistic and global perspectives of our leaders in matters like health, city development, and community relations. We in Asheville were subject to an attempt at censorship earlier this year when The Kite Runner was suspended from Reynolds High School.

For that reason, the POP Project celebrates the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week every year. At POP, we understand that a greater access to books is key in every community member’s ability to succeed—and that includes all books.

For 2015, POP is bringing light to book banning by highlighting several classic titles of literary merit that have been challenged or banned many times across the nation over the past several decades. These books, found on the ALA’s 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books list, include Pulitzer Prize winners and books that are near and dear to many readers’ hearts.

As you make your way around Asheville this week, see if you can spot our “Missing” posters. And if you see any banned books, share them with us so that we can celebrate the freedom to read with you. Connect with POP on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #BannedBooksWeek.

How much do you know about Banned Books Week?

Banned Books Week is an annual event hosted by the American Library Association (ALA) that celebrates the freedoms outlined by the First Amendment, including the freedom to read. Many challenges are made with valient intentions, such as to protect children and the community from difficult ideas. But the purpose of Banned Books Week is to promote education over censorship.

Banned Books Week is typically held during the last week of September, which this year falls from September 27-October 3. During this time, the ALA draws attention to the harms of censorship by highlighting the benefits of intellectual freedom and access to information, while addressing attempted and successful book bannings across the nation.

Books featured during the week have been challenged in communities around the country by parents, schools, libraries, and other organizations. Thanks to the efforts of booksellers, librarians, teachers, and community members, many book challenges have failed and the books have remained in circulation.

For more information about Banned Books Week, visit http://bannedbooksweek.org.