Did you know today is day two of Banned Books Week, which this year is being celebrated from September 22 to September 28. I’ve always kind of known there were banned books, but I think I viewed this as a problem that mostly existing the past or in really small pockets of America. I pictured the banning of books like Lady Chatterly’s Lover. It wasn’t until this year that I learned that the banning of books hugely spiked in the 1980s. Books like Harry Potter, Twilight, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Hunger Games, and even the Alice books are among the most banned books of the last decade, along with classics like Huckleberry Finn and Beloved. This problem is not in the past. It not only exists in the present. It is growing.
I 100% understand parents and adults impulse to control the media children consume. However, I think open communication and conversations are the solution, not censorship. In celebration of Banned Books Week, I’ve picked three teenage male characters from books that were among most challenged in 2012: Arnold Spirit Jr. “Junior” from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Miles Halter “Pudge” from Looking For Alaska, and Clay Jensen from Thirteen Reasons Why. Let me know who you would marry, who you would date, and who you would dump in the comments. And let me know if you have any other ideas for celebrating the week!