We’ll be back next week with a new idea for 52 weeks of happier homeschooling, but we think reading a banned book with your kids should be at the top of your to-do list this week.
Banned Books Week (it ends this year on Oct. 1) is an annual event that celebrates our freedom to read books—even if they’re unusual, unpopular, or unorthodox. As homeschoolers, we don’t always run into literary censorship, but folks around the country lobby to ban books every year, citing as their reasons everything from “potentially controversial” (“If there’s a possibility that something might be controversial, then why not eliminate it,” explained a Wyoming school district official attempting to remove copies of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee from his district’s library shelves) to “conflicting with community values” (a Texas school’s reason for banning Moby Dick), to “promoting white supremacy” (which put To Kill a Mockingbird on the banned books list).
The New York Times’ list of most frequently banned books includes plenty of great readalouds, including The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Bridge to Terebithia (well, only if you can read it out loud without sobbing, which I cannot do), A Wrinkle in Time, and James and the Giant Peach. There’s bound to be a banned book on one of your reading lists—and this week is the perfect time to embrace your right to read whatever you want, even if it’s Eve Merriam’s Halloween ABC.