Friday, September 30, 2011

Banned Books Week-it is personal

I've had experience with a challenged book. You may have heard the story...but for those who haven't...

My high school pulled Salem's Lot by Stephen King from the high school library's book shelves. Our understanding was that one parent objected to the book and it was pulled.

Oddly enough, I had done a Honors English book report on Salem's Lot when I was in 10th grade.

The students protested. A local bookstore gave away free copies of Salem's Lot to any Goochland High School student who wanted it.

But the book remained off the library shelves.

I will never understand why I could do an Honors English report on a book that was so objectionable it was pulled such a short time later. I don't believe the library was better for the challenge and ban. No, I felt the space on the shelf where that book used to be was much lesser for the loss of it.

A book I had read as a younger student was pulled because one parent decided their child couldn't read it and if they couldn't, no one could.

That's why it matters so much to me.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

What books are banned and why?

The books on the challenged/banned list run the gamut.

It's anything from And Tango Makes Three to In the Night Kitchen, both children's picture books to children's chapter books like Captain Underpants to Bridge to Terabithia to Julie of the Wolves to young adult novels like Sandpiper (which I read at the library in the banned books reading room the other night) and The Hunger Games to classics like The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, Lord of the Flies, 1984 to popular fiction like Harry Potter and Twilight. Several books by Stephen King and Judy Blume have been banned/challenged in years past.

Generally when people are asked to name their favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird is somewhere on that list. And yep it's been challenged/banned as well.

ALA took a list of the Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century and counted off how many book on that list had been challenged/banned. These are just ones they know about but 45/100 books have been challenged and yet are considered the top novels of the 20th century.

Why do people challenge books?

The most common reasons books were challenged from 2001 to 2010
- “sexually explicit”
- “offensive language”
- “unsuited to age group”
- “violence”
- “homosexuality”
- "anti-family”
- "religious viewpoints"

I know Harry Potter has been challenged due to promotion of witchcraft.

Mechele Armstrong

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

“All of us can think of a book... that we hope none of our children or any other children have taken off the shelf. But if I have the right to remove that book from the shelf - that work I abhor - then you also have exactly the same right and so does everyone else. And then we have no books left on the shelf for any of us.”
― Katherine Paterson

Too big for a status update but I think it gets to the heart of what I was trying to say in my blog of a few days ago. No books-that's a nightmare!!!

Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire
Just sent back proofing edits on Code Monkey! One step closer to a release date...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Banned Books Week-Why it matters

Every year I do a series over the week of Banned Books Week. It's something I believe wholeheartedly in. I think once you start pulling books it becomes a slippery slope to an outright ban.

I have on occasion told my children to wait to read something. They have on occasion read a book with a very serious subject and we've talked about it later. Someone else may say their child can't read that particular book when I say it's okay for my child to read it. And that's fine. We all make decisions for our own children. But when that same parent goes to the school library or the public library and tries to make it so NO child (or adult) can read that book, I have a real problem with that. Don't want your child to read something, be the parent and don't let them. But don't try and dictate what everyone else's child should be doing.

I'm not a big fan of Twilight (*gasp* I know. I've really tried to like it too), which is #10 on the 2010 list of challenged books. I know people who adore it and I know parents who let their kids read it. Just because I don't like it and I think my child should be X years old before reading it, I'm not going to remove from a library.

No one book is going to be liked or "approved" by everyone. If everyone has books removed that make them uncomfortable or they don't like, what would be left on the shelves? Nothing. That's the scary part and the reason this subject matters.

Free people read freely.

Mechele Armstrong

The most challenged books of 2010

Interestingly enough I told my oldest last year, I bet eventually the Hunger Games trilogy will make it on the list.

1) And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson;
2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie;
3) Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley;
4) Crank, by Ellen Hopkins;
5) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins;
6) Lush, by Natasha Friend;
7) What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones;
8) Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich;
9) Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie;
10) Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

From ALA

Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it." -- Mark Twain
It's Banned Books week. It's a subject that matters to me and I'll probably be blogging/updating on it all week. Celebrate by reading a book

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Posted at Loose Ends on the merits of fall.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Have two scenes to write today! Can't wait. Happy Wed everyone!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wish it would rain instead of just being gray. Least there was Castle last night... Off to write!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Definitely a Monday! But it still feels like fall!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Five

1. Yep I know. Been a bad bad bad blogger. I'm hoping to be a tad less sporadic.

2. As you probably saw, Dragon's Lair is now Taming the Fire. Have an updated title for Dragon's Bait and a new series title I'll be sharing. Release day is coming soon!

3. Need a maid. Tired of cleaning my house. Tired of people stepping over what others drop for a million times until I finally say, "Would you pick that up?" Then I'm the mean (Mom) for being terse.

4. Ready for fall. I love Fall!!!!

5. Castle premieres Monday night. Cannot wait. Have been missing my favorite write and police detectives.

BONUS: Torchwood Miracle Day was one of the most awesome things I've seen in a long time. I really do heart Jack Harkness. Loved the way it ended with a promise of more. I really hope there is more...
I love the Fall weather! Bring on the cool. Have a great Friday everyone.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dragon's Lair has a new title: Taming the Fire! It's on the coming soon page at Loose Id! Whoo hooo!