I have decided to join StephSu's community Banned Books Reading Challenge. Please read on and consider participating if you want to help support freedom of information in YA literature and fight censorship!
Censorship. A nasty word, a horrible concept, and yet it never goes away, does it? Especially in adolescent literature, authors who dare to write about serious or controversial topics are often slammed, shunned, and criticized. Earlier this month a teen lit festival in Texas disinvited bestselling YA author Ellen Hopkins because a handful of adults felt that she and her books are not appropriate literature for children. Last year I StephSu talked about an English teacher who got under fire because she used YA books as supplementary texts beside the regular English curriculum. Censorship, censorship, it comes and it goes, but it's always there.
Banned Books Week 2010 is coming up soon, between September 25 and October 2. However, we bloggers, lovers, readers, writers, and supporters of YA lit are going to make this bigger and better. Donna at Bites has put together a Ban This! celebration for the months of September and October, encouraging bloggers to link to their reviews of banned or challenged books, or otherwise feature them in some way or another on your blogs.
The Banned Books Reading Challenge 2010
Goals of This Challenge:
- To bring attention to books that have been challenged or banned
- To support authors whose freedom of expression have been questioned or challenged by buying and reading their books
- To increase awareness of censorship
The best way to fight censorship is to do what these challengers rarely do, and that is to READ the books that have been challenged and educate ourselves on their content and impact on our society!
- The challenge will run from September 1, 2010 to October 15, 2010.
- The challenge is open to any reader with an online blogging platform who'd like to participate.
- I will focus solely on YA literature for this case even though there are many areas you can participate in.
- I will make it my goal to read at least 6 challenged or banned books, but I do hope to read more!!
Check out StephSu's page for Signup information here.
- The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Challenged Children's Book List. This list is divided up into age group, which is definitely convenient.
- 10 Frequently Challenged Books Everyone Should Read at Paste Magazine
- Hit List for Young Adults 2 by Teri Lesesne and Rosemary Chance. Written for librarians combating censorship but provides a list of 20 titles that may or may not interest you.
- The left-hand sidebar of the ALA Frequently Challenged Books site features many ways in which challenged books are broken down by year, decade, type of challenge, etc. Very fascinating to look at.
- The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has a great website dedicated to Banned Books Week, the freedom to read, and reviews of banned books.
- The Illinois Library Association issues a fantastic bibliography every year noting the books challenged that year. This could help you a lot with more recently challenged books.
- The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas has compiled a shocking list of challenges made in the state.
* Borrowed from StephSu's Page on the Banned Books Challenge *