Friday, September 24, 2010

Banned Book Week

September 25-Oct 2 is Banned Book Week, a week to celebrate our freedom to read and the first amendment.

This freedom is critical. CRITICAL!
Readers need to have freedom to choose to read or not read books.
If we start allowing book banning, it will spread and soon every book will be banned, because someone, somewhere, will find something they don't like about a book.

I agree that parents should be allowed to help their children choose their books, and even opt out of their child reading a specific book. There might be good reasons: if a child has a problem or is getting professional help with something a book might be a trigger that could cause additional problems. But that same book can be exactly what other readers need.

Every reader has a favorite book which has been banned. A few popular and commonly read books: Harry Potter, Bridge to Terabithia, Charlotte's Web, Huckleberry Finn, Fahrenheit 451.

Some links:

ALA on Banned Books Week. This also has a list of banned books.

A map of where banned books and challenges happened from 2007-2010. Kudos to the states who had no bans or challenges: New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Delaware, and Vermont!

Laurie Halse Anderson's book, Speak was recently challenged. (Rape is not pornography.) Her book is a life changing book for so many readers. This book is not a graphic book. Though it is an uncomfortable topic for many, it is a safe book and a place for readers to go for empathy or healing.

Kate Messner, author and teacher, shares her talk which she gives to parents each year about book selection.

Angela Cerrito began a Banned Book Club. It is for adults and she writes, "the main goal of The Banned Book Club is to connect books with teen readers with the consent of their parents!" This is a reading club that I can see spreading throughout communities in the US.

I'm planning on reading a banned book this week.

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