I firmly believe in the right to free access to information. There are many books that I simply will not read for religious and/or personal reasons but I do not believe I have the right to ban those books from being read. If I censor your speech and your ideas, it’s just a matter of time before someone censors mine.
This is not my normal book review but more of a discussion about some of the reasons why To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee has been challenged and/or banned over the years.
SYNOPSIS OF TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD BY HARPER LEE
Published in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird is the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Harper Lee that tells the story of Scout, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus Finch, a lawyer. Set in the fictional town called Maycomb, Alabama, the story spans three years in the life of Scout from the ages of 6 to 9 years.
During that time, Atticus is assigned to be a public defender for an innocent black man accused of the beating and rape of a white woman. Atticus offers up stunning defense of Tom Robinson, but Tom is still found guilty of the crime because of the color of his skin. The hatred and racism that accompanies the trial forces everyone to look at their own humanity.
At one point, Scout and Jem, in their innocence, shame a mob into putting an end to their violence.
There’s also a subplot about Boo Radley, the neighborhood recluse who alternately frightens and intrigues the neighborhood children. It’s through the character of Boo that Scout learns compassion and respect for others.
SOME OF THE REASONS IT WAS CHALLENGED/BANNED
The novel has been challenged and/or banned because of profanity, racial slurs and its frank discussion of rape. Despite the controversy, To Kill a Mockingbird has continued to be used in classrooms to facilitate discussions on race, gender roles and justice.
ABOUT BANNED BOOKS WEEK
This week marks the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week is an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read and highlights the importance of access to information.
To find out which books have been banned or challenged over the years, click here.
In honor of Banned Books Week and my intense love of coffee, I’m happy to cohost a giveaway with fellow book lover, Sheila from Book Journey (Twitter: @bookjourney). We are giving away a $25 Starbucks gift card.
Sheila is hosting a week long Banned Books event on her blog, please check it out here. There’s a whole slew of book reviews and giveaways.
To enter, let’s keep this simple:
- Leave a comment telling me the name of your favorite Banned Book (You can check out the list by clicking here)
For additional entries, leave a comment for each action:
- Subscribe to my blog by clicking here
- Follow me on Twitter (@DaenelT)
- Tweet about my giveaway: Cuddle up with hot coffee and a good book! Win a $25 Starbucks Gift Card from @DaenelT http://bit.ly/PKbd17
Please make sure you leave a way for me to contact you.
Contest is open to U.S. residents only. Contest ends on Saturday, 6 October 2012 at 10 PM (CST). One winner will be randomly selected using Random.org.
Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this post.