"Each day, all across the country, one of our most basic freedoms — the right to read — is in danger. In communities large and small, censorship attempts every year threaten to undermine our freedom to read. Without our constant support, the First Amendment freedoms that we so often take for granted — the right to read, explore ideas, and express ourselves freely — are at risk.
The First Amendment guarantees that each of us has the right to express our views, including opinions about particular books. At the same time, the First Amendment also ensures that none of us has the right to control or limit another person’s ability to read or access information. Yet, when individuals or groups file formal written requests demanding that libraries and schools remove specific books from the shelves, they are doing just that — attempting to restrict the rights of other individuals to access those books. The rights and protections of the First Amendment include children as well as adults. While parents have the right — and the responsibility — to guide their own children’s reading, that right does not extend to other people’s children. Similarly, each adult has the right to choose their own reading materials, along with the responsibility to acknowledge and respect the right of others to do the same.
When we speak up to protect the right to read, we not only defend our individual right to free expression, we demonstrate tolerance and respect for opposing points of view. And when we take action to preserve our precious freedoms, we become participants in the ongoing evolution of our democratic society."
Here are a few titles that were challenged, restricted, removed or banned in 2009 and 2010 across the country. For more information, visit www.ala.org/bbooks.
Living Dead Girl
by Elizabeth Scott
One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies
by Sonya Sones
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
by Neal Shusterman
We're not kidding. Someone actually challenged the dictionary.