Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Banned Books Week

This week is Banned Books Week, a week to celebrate your freedom to read and to bring attention to the challenges and bannings that take place in our school and public libraries nationwide. Challenges are what happens when a person or group of people ask that a library item be removed from the library. Bans are what happens when the challengers succeed. Since 1990, there have been more than 11,000 attempts to ban something from a library. That's more than one per day!

This year's theme is "Think for yourself and let others do the same." Pretty simple and to the point. So I thought that this week I'd highlight some titles that have been or are currently under attack. Let me know what you think about these titles!

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

This Printz Honor Book was published over a decade ago and was made into a movie starring Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame.

Melinda is a freshman pariah in a high school. Her isolation is a result of her calling the police at the end of the summer party. Her struggle to deal with what happened to her and the consequences of her phone call has her selectively being mute.

The book's powerful storyline is only one of the reasons it has been challenged. just this month in Springfield, Missouri this book was called "soft porn" and was challenged for its placement in a high school library. Ms. Anderson has been outspoken about Speak. You can find more on her website: http://madwomanintheforest.com/

I think we each should celebrate Banned Books Week by reading a challenged or banned book and think for yourself about it.

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