Young Adult Titles to be Focus of 2015 Banned Books Week

Posted on April 24, 2015

This year Banned Books Week will focus on Young Adult Books. Banned Book Week's Maggie Jacoby announced that the national planning committee made the decision this week. This year's event will run from September 27th - October 3rd.

The week is an annual celebration of the freedom to read, which is not universal by any means. The week will be celebrated around the world in schools, libraries, bookstores and other places. Judith Platt is the chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee and she explained why they chose Young Adult books as the focus for this year's events.

Ms. Platt says that the most challenged books, by far, are the young adult books. She said, "These are the books that speak most immediately to young people, dealing with many of the difficult issues that arise in their own lives, or in the lives of their friends. These are the books that give young readers the ability to safely explore the sometimes scary real world." She explained that the Committee wants this year's events to be a call to action. She is quite passionate about promoting freedom for young adults to read a wide variety of books and to make their own reading choices. She notes, "These are the books that give young readers the ability to safely explore the sometimes scary real world."

Many bans come in the guise of protecting young readers, but Banned Book Committee members say it's just an excuse for censorship. In the most recent Banned Books List, most of the challenged books are for young adults. Six of the top ten books are YA titles, in fact.

Last year's Banned Books Week featured hundreds of events across the country in the U.S. alone. More than 500 videos were posted as part of the virtual read-out of banned books. Bookstores, libraries and schools host parties, author talks and discussions about censorship, freedom of speech and literature.
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