When a book is challenged or banned, it’s often the effect the title would have on young readers that’s cited by those who want it taken out of readers’ hands. So this year, Banned Books Week will reportedly focus on young adult titles.
Banned Books Week is held every fall and is created by organizations including the American Library Association and the National Coalition Against Censorship. Schools, libraries, and other facilities around the U.S. host readings of banned books and other events to promote a person’s right to read what they choose.
Recent years have also included a Virtual Read-Out component where users can post a video of themselves talking about banned books or reading from a title that has been challenged.
“Young adult books are challenged more frequently than any other type of book," Judith Platt, chair of the Banned Books Week national committee, said of the decision to look specifically at YA titles, according to industry newsletter Shelf Awareness. "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. This Banned Books Week is a call to action, to remind everyone that young people need to be allowed the freedom to read widely, to read books that are relevant for them, and to be able to make their own reading choices.”
The most-challenged title for 2014, according to the ALA, was the young adult book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie, while other young adult titles such as “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky and “Drama” by Raina Telgemeier were also included in the list.