Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Banned Books Challenge

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!

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.


* Borrowed from StephSu's Page on the Banned Books Challenge *

1 comment:

SafeLibraries said...

No books have been banned in the USA for about a half a century. See "National Hogwash Week."

Thomas Sowell says Banned Books Week is “the kind of shameless propaganda that has become commonplace in false charges of ‘censorship’ or ‘book banning’ has apparently now been institutionalized with a week of its own.” He calls it “National Hogwash Week.”

Former ALA Councilor Jessamyn West said, "It also highlights the thing we know about Banned Books Week that we don't talk about much — the bulk of these books are challenged by parents for being age-inappropriate for children. While I think this is still a formidable thing for librarians to deal with, it's totally different from people trying to block a book from being sold at all."

Banned Books Week is Next Week

And then there's Judith Krug herself who created BBW:

"Marking 25 Years of Banned Books Week," by Judith Krug, Curriculum Review, 46:1, Sep. 2006. "On rare occasion, we have situations where a piece of material is not what it appears to be on the surface and the material is totally inappropriate for a school library. In that case, yes, it is appropriate to remove materials. If it doesn't fit your material selection policy, get it out of there."

Lastly, remember the ALA does not oppose book burning when doing so would interfere with its political interests. Go see what Judith Krug said about Cuban librarians: "American Library Association Shamed," by Nat Hentoff.

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