In an effort to keep more "banned books" on bookshelves, the ACLU of Idaho will host a banned book sale at the Crux coffeehouse in support of the Banned Book Week, a national annual celebration of our freedom to read.
“Part of the purpose [of the banned book sale] is to raise awareness about our freedom of expression and the ability to read books that we choose,” said Leo Morales, the communications and advocacy director for the ACLU Idaho. “Challenging censorship is important for us in order to have an open and vibrant democracy”
Banned Book Week was created in 1982 in response to the sudden surge of challenged books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982.
“There has been a history in the country of censoring books that either have language that has explicit or sexual content. There are times that books are censored that we clearly consider a work of art. I think it is important to protect the ability of individuals—of artists—to be able to express themselves. And often times [this expression] is carried through creative language that does include language referencing sexual activity,” said Morales.
Each year, the American Library Association compiles a list of books that are the most frequent targets of censorship in classrooms and libraries. Some of the top books banned in 2012 include: Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parenell and Justin Richardson and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
“While there is a right to privacy and things can be kept secret, it is also very important to understand that the health of our democracy and our constitution is protected when we have access to information,” said Morales.
The banned book sale will take place at the Crux coffeehouse on Main and 11th in downtown Boise on Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 25-28, between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.
“We have a growing society and a lot of our youth are now discovering what censorship is, what freedom of expression is. I would hope that this [books sale] is also an opportunity for parents to speak with their children about the importance of the freedom of expression that we have in this country,” said Morales.