Saturday, September 28, 2013

Banned Books Week: It's personal and what you can do

I've shared this story a few times but I have personal experience with challenged books. You can read it here. I didn't understand it then and I still done. Time hasn't shed any light on it, not even now that I have children of my own.

I'm a huge supporter of Banned Books Week in case you hadn't noticed. I wish I didn't have to be. I wish books weren't challenged/banned. With each post/tweet/update I hope to raise awareness that this does go on. I've attended events in my local area (a seminar with readings from banned books and read in the banned books room at our local library for two years (sadly they aren't having it this year but say it will be back)). I read throughout the year. I try to read a book that's been challenged during Banned Books Week every year. I reread Salem's Lot, and read Olive's Ocean, Sandpiper, Fahrenheit 451, and The Perks of being a Wallflower in years past. I'm rereading the Color Purple this year and maybe the Beloved if I have time.  I bought the red "I read banned books" buttons to help support the cause.

But I think the biggest things I do to support Banned Books Week? I talk to my children about the issues throughout the year. I encourage them to read books that have been challenged. When they were younger, I did hold them off from books until they were a little older but now that they are a tween and a teen, I let them read whatever they want. I try to know what they are reading and if we need to discuss something about the book, we talk about it.

Read freely.

Read banned books.

Challenge censorship wherever it rears its ugly head.

Don't declare because you don't want or don't want your child reading a particular book that no one should be able to.

Talk about these issues. It's the only way we will ever move past them.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Five-the five best banned books I've read

1. Salem's Lot by Stephen King. Yes, my own school system challenged the book. I was already a fan of it, having read it long before the challenge.

2. Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I was blown away by this book in college. Still floors me that anyone would want to challenge it.

3. Any Harry Potter book. I adore the Harry Potter series. Not only did I fall in love with it, but I firmly believe that series cemented oldest's love of reading for which I'm eternally grateful.

4. The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Brutal book but heartwarming just the same.

5. Are you there God? It's me Margaret among other books by Judy Blume. Coming of age tales that influenced a generation and more.

Banned Books Week: What, When, Where and Why of Challenged Books

Over this recent past decade, 5,099* challenges were reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom.
  • 1,577 challenges due to "sexually explicit" material;
  • 1,291 challenges due to "offensive language";
  • 989 challenges due to materials deemed "unsuited to age group";
  • 619 challenged due to "violence"' and
  • 361 challenges due to "homosexuality.

So double the number of books challenged for violence were challenged for sexuality. It's always amazed me how parents will let kids watch murder fests but god forbid there was sex and nudity in a film. Looks like it maybe the same for books. 

Most Challenged books 1990-99

  1. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
  2. Daddy’s Roommate, by Michael Willhoite
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
  4. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
  6. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
  7. Forever, by Judy Blume
  8. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
  9. Heather Has Two Mommies, by Leslea Newman
  10. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

Most Challenged books 2000-09

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Most challenged Classics

1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell

At least 46 of the 100 books on the Radcliffe top 100 novels of the 20th Century have been challenged

To see where books have been challenged, check this link out. It happens all over the United States. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Banned Books Week: Think for yourself and let others do the same

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Banned Books Week: Not just a thing of the past, books are challenged even on the eve of Banned Books Week

Invisible Man pulled from North Carolina school library shelves.

A quote from the article from the parent, "You must respect all religions and point of views when it comes to the parents and what they feel is age appropriate for their young children to read, without their knowledge. This book is freely in your library for them to read.”

This isn't from years ago. This is from September 16th. 

Eek a book with different ideas is in a library just waiting for someone to pick it up... Let's clear the shelves of all those. Oh wait, now the shelves are empty...

Ohio leader labels Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison pornographic. 

This is from September 13th. 

In August, an Alabama state Senator also called for his state to bar students from reading the book. 

So challenges to books are going on now. And when you take one book that you don't agree with off shelves and the person next to you takes another book he doesn't agree with off shelves and the person next to him takes a book she doesn't agree with off the shelves, there will be nothing left in the library to read.

I truly don't understand parents who challenge a book and want to make sure no one reads it. Not allowing your child to read it is one thing but making sure no child reads it, I just don't get it.  Some of the best conversations my kids and I have had are over books they've read that disturbed them in some way or challenged their ideas. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Banned Books Week: Quotes

I took a picture of this at my library year before last.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Banned Books Week: Most challenged books of 2012

Everything from "kid's" books to erotic romance to classics.

1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group

 2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

 3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group

 4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

 5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson. Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group

 6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit

 7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green. Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

 8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence

9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

 10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence Source

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Banned Books Week: I read banned books

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Five

Whooo hooooo! Two in a row.

 1. I had a pepper plant. It had 7 peppers on it. Something ate holes in 4 of the peppers while they were still babies! 2 were from earlier and 1 poor little pepper was the only one to survive whatever ate the others. It's probably my garden's last gasp. Except for tomatoes. Because there are always tomatoes.

 2. Can't wait for Castle. And the Walking Dead. And Big Bang Theory. And Doctor Who. And Warehouse 13. I also want to check out Whedon's SHIELD. Which sounds wrong but you know what I mean. Who's with me????

 3. Friendships wax and wane. Sometimes people are in our lives for a short time. I have trouble with the concept so the kids definitely are as their lives slowly change.

 4. Yeah, I know. I need to WRITE. Soon. I've been looking at it. And writing my young adult IN MY HEAD. Ugh. I need a word processor that reads thoughts. I could be so productive as I'm driving from place to place...

 5. I'm reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn thanks to a friend's recommendation. I'm rather enjoying it! Next up Horns by Joe Hill (waiting at the library for me), Eat Slay Love (a young adult that oldest recommended) and Teeth (a collection of short stories by young adult authors about vampires). So many books to read. So little time!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Featured at TRS Blue!

Friday, September 06, 2013

Friday Five

Don't faint. I know it's been a while! We will see if I can get back in regular schedule of blogging. I  hope to get back to writing more heavily today. Some days are better than others and I bet some weeks will be better than others.

1. How does a short week become a long week? When you have two kidlets starting back to school. It's been a hectic one and I'm glad it's over. Not that I get to sleep in but at least we don't have to be anywhere on Saturday.

2. Been reading Joe Hill. He's definitely an up and comer in my estimation. I'm hoping he has a long successful career like his father.

3. Can't wait for Castle! The Walking Dead! Big Bang Theory! Doctor Who Christmas special! Lots to look forward to this year.

4. And of course fall is my favorite season. The pumpkin blitz has started already. I'm loving it! I bought pumpkin coffee grounds. Now to find pumpkin lattes! Heaven!

5. Now if I can write my story as quickly as I wrote this...Life will be good!!

Bonus: Joe Hill is Stephen King's son. In case you were wondering!


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