Banned Books Week is next week, and we like to start things a little early at my library (it only lasts a week, after all!). I don’t think my Banned Books display is overly original, and I would have loved to use actual Do Not Cross or Caution tape (instead of just yellow paper that I cut myself), but I have to admit that the display still stands out:
I had the display up just in time for the after school crowd, and as soon as they walked into the youth department, some of the kids made a beeline towards the display. I fielded questions about banned books (and I tried to explain that they’re not nationally banned; they’ve just been challenged at certain libraries). We had one girl in particular who’s a regular at the library, but only to use the computers. She has never expressed an interest in reading for fun, but as soon as she learned that these books were off limits in some places, she asked me if she could read one. When I told her that she could, she picked up James and the Giant Peach and spent the rest of the evening reading at a table. Success!
I anticipated that some kids (and concerned parents) would have questions about why these books are banned, so I created little cards that stated the book’s crime, and I stuck these cards into the books, with just a little bit of it peaking out of the top to entice the kids to pick the books up and find out why they’re banned.
My favorite reason for banning a book? The wardrobe malfunction that appeared in the original edition of Where’s Waldo. And, yes, I wrote ‘wardrobe malfunction’ as the reason why that book got banned — and then added in parenthesis that our edition has it edited out.