Monday, September 28, 2009

Banned Books Week

This week is Banned Books Week. Each year the ALA takes this week to celebrate books that have been banned and/or challenged over time. Some popular banned/challenged books include Burned by Ellen Hopkins, Speak and Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson, and Looking for Alaska by John Green. These are just a few of the many books that are challenged each year. Show your support for Banned Books Week by reading a banned book, visiting authors' websites, and writing letters to school districts or librarians who are dealing with bok banning. You can see a list of the most frequently banned books here, or visit the ALA site here. Also, author Ellen Hopkins has written a lovely poem titled Manifesto which addresses those who seek to ban books. Ellen Hopkins and Laurie Halse Anderson both have wonderful blog posts that were written in response to recent attempts to ban books that they have written. Basically, I feel that no other person should dictate what you can or cannot read. I understand (and believe) that parents should monitor what their own children read, but not decide what is right for every child. Not every book is right for everyone, but every book is right for someone. Books, especially books that deal with drugs, alcohol, and sex, provide wonderful opportunities for parents and children to discuss critical issues. These books also give children and teens the opportunity to experience difficult situations without having to actually deal with the fallout. If you would like to be more involved you can visit the National Coalition Against Censorship as well as their blog.