Read a Banned Book

Today begins Banned Book Week, an annual event coordinated by the American Library Association intended to celebrate Americans’ freedom to read.

Banned Books - Pansy Covers

There are all sorts of reasons books are banned by different organizations in different parts of the country. Even Isabella Alden’s books were once banned from a public library for being “immoral” (you can read more about that in a previous post here).

Article in the San Francisco Call on August 1, 1910
Article in the San Francisco Call on August 1, 1910


Here are some other books that suffered the same fate:

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Animal Farm, by George Orwell
Gone with the Wind, By Margaret Mitchell

The American Library Association has Banned Books Week events planned in many states (click here to find events in your area). Their website contains a lot of interesting information about books that have been banned over the last two decades, who makes the most demands to ban books, as well as the most common reasons given for banning books.

I read banned booksAll this talk of banned books begs the question: What would have happened if Isabella Alden hadn’t stood up to the individuals who tried to remove or limit access to her books? What would have happened if she had taken no action and allowed a library to label her novels as “immoral” and “improper”?

Answer: Most people wouldn’t have an opportunity to read her wonderful, inspiring books today.

Thankfully, Isabella Alden knew an injustice when she saw one, and she took action to have her books put back on library shelves for readers to discover and enjoy.



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