Friday, September 07, 2018

My Favorite Banned Book – 1984 by George Orwell


Banned Books Week, an annual national event celebrating the freedom to read, will be observed September 23-29, 2018.

This event was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to popular books in schools, bookstores, and libraries. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community—librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, and readers.

The 2018 theme, “Banning Books Silences Stories,” is a reminder that everyone needs to speak out against the tide of censorship. You can read more about Banned Books Week at this link.

The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country. The Top Ten Challenged Books of 2017 included at No. 7 To Kill a Mockingbird by late Alabama author Harper Lee. This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, considered an American classic, was challenged and banned because of violence and its use of the N-word.
Read more about challenged books on the ALA list at this link.

This year BPL is inviting staffers to write a book review of their favorite banned book. Kicking it off is a review of 1984, the classic 1949 novel by George Orwell.

 My Favorite Banned Book – 1984 by George Orwell

As a teenager my identical twin, Troy Williams, and I were given a reading assignment in class that captivated us like never before. In 1978 at the age of 14, we read 1984, the classic George Orwell depiction of a world in which government propaganda and intrusion permeated society.

Books and articles were rewritten to twist facts into what the government wanted citizens to believe. “Big Brother” was everywhere, dictating even how you thought. The book’s hero, Winston Smith, is a low-ranking member of the Party who became frustrated at how “Big Brother” controlled every aspect of society. Along with his girlfriend, Julia, Winston Smith led a fight for freedom and justice.

1984 sends a powerful message about the dangers of too much government manipulation of the way society thinks and intrusion in private lives. It is even more timely in today’s political era of “fake news” and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.

No wonder the New York Times last year posted the article "Why 1984 is a 2017 Must Read Book"

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