Efforts to control people come in many forms, and not all are overt, physical oppression. Throughout history, various powers have tried to cut off access to information or discussion of said information, whether the subject was criticism of a particular ruling group, or content considered too risqué for the masses. This censorship has at times affected our access to print media, and the targets of censorship are too often young, developing minds.
According to the American Library Association, hundreds of books are removed from or challenged in school libraries each year, and the organization estimates that 70 percent to 80 percent of such cases are never reported. Banned Books Week falls September 30-October 6 this year. Take a moment this week to browse a surprising (and dismaying) short list of banned books that shaped America at bannedbooksweek.org, and take part in one of several events held in honor of dangerously poignant literature. Resolve to read classics and obscure books alike. Check out the kids' titles (including "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Harry Potter") that were pulled from shelves, read them with youngsters, and discuss what content might have been "threatening" to some groups and organizations.