It was not my intention to pick up a frequently challenged book this week. But with the film version of Perks of Being a Wallflower coming out shortly, I thought I would go back and reread the book. Funny, I remember nothing about it, but I do remember I read it. I actually realize now that I had the plot confused with Hairstyles of the Damned by Joe Meno.
While this was a happy accident for me to pick up this book during Banned Books Week, it’s not a surprise I’m reading something that has been challenged over the years and not just because I’m a librarian. Most of the things I have read off that list I have read before entering library school. I am thankful I had parents who did not censor what I read and an aunt who was an English teacher who encouraged my sister and I to read everything we could get our hands on.
I really wanted to do something for BBW this year in my new library, but like everything lately, time slipped away and I couldn’t get things together in time. I discovered at work that before I arrived, a challenge came up for something in our collection. After a bit of a student backlash it was restored. However, I felt this would have been a PERFECT year to do a display on frequently challenged books. I am curious to see how many of them we actually have in our collection. And I would love to display them and encouraged people to read them.
Challenged books aren’t meant to be read merely because they are taboo. These books explore all angles of life and not just the provincial perspective some would like us to have. And if you are a good library, you present a fair and balanced collection that represents all sides of an issue.