fight for your right!
What does it all mean? What does it mean when someone says a book has been challenged? What does it mean if someone says a book has been banned?
Per the American Library Association,
"A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials...The positive message of Banned Books Week: Free People Read Freely is that due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection."
What you can do to celebrate your FREEDOM to read!
- Feel like a V.P. candidate for a day: Go to your local library and ask about their challenging/banning policies (Sarah Palin, anyone?)
- Express yourself. Wear a sandwich board and roam around your town promoting the importance of being able to read a variety of books.
- Or just read a book that has banned in 2007-2008. Some choices include:
-- How the Garcia Girls Lost their accents, J. Alvarez,
sexual content, language
-- Running with Scissors, A. Burroughs,
strong sexual content
-- Where Willy Went, N. Allan,
"Willy is a sperm and the book is about sex." (I love this reason! Ha ha)
-- The Perks of being a wallflower, S. Chbosky
-- The Chocolate War (Ha, I had to do a presentation on this book in grad school!)
violence, language, homophobic slurs
-- The Kite Runner, K. Hosseini
sodomy rape, language
-- Animal Dreams, B. Kingsolver
-- To Kill a Mockingbird, H. Lee.
novel depicts racism of whites towards blacks
-- TTYL, L. Myracle
language, sex, drinking
-- The Giver, L. Lowry
pill popping, suicide, infant murders
-- The Lovely Bones, A. Sebold
-- The Golden Compass, P. Pullman
anti-God, anti-Catholic, anti-church
-- Harry Potter's 1-4 & 6 , J.K. Rowling
themes of witchcraft/sorcery, promotes Wicca,
-- Of Mice and Men, J. Steinbeck
profanity, derogatory treatment of blacks and women
-- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, M. Twain
uses the "n" word, racial epitephs
-- Slaughterhouse Five, K. Vonnegut
strong sexual conduct (this was challenged at the Howell H.S. where my cousins
-- And Tango makes three, Richardson & Parnell
"homosexual story line"
-- Sandpiper (read this in Grad school too!), Wittlinger, E.
sexual content, language
P. Pullman of The Golden Compass fame said something really fascinating once (and I can't find the damn quote!!) about how if you make a big deal out of the books kids are gonna read them. There is some truth to that.
But, more importantly challenged/banned books can be used as teaching tools for kids. Parents could embrace the things kids are reading about and TALK about it. Is that such a concept!!? It also forces the parents to take an active role in their child(ren)'s lives. See what they are up to. I would rather have my teen kids reading Sandpiper than playing violent video games where they can pick up hookers and simulate f*&^ing said hookers in stolen cars!