Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Banned Books Week

Being an avid reader and an aspiring writer, it is really hard to ignore Banned Books Week. Why are banned books a big deal? The American Library Association explains it simply: "Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week." Also, as Americans, it is against our freedom of speech according to the First Amendment.

There are tons of lists that you can find of books that have been banned. Can you believe books like How to Kill a Mockingbird, The Shining, The Grapes of Wrath, The Canterbury Tales, and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night have all been banned somewhere? How about the Harry Potter series, Bridge to Terabithia, and A Wrinkle in Time? The lists go on and on and affect both children and adult books.

This is an issue that is happening today. Right now Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak is under attack from a man who wants the books banned because it has"soft pornography". When the book is about a girl who is raped and how she deals with this traumatic experience "pornography"? This has caused a campaign over the internet speaking out against the proposed ban and the man's comments. This book was a Printz Honor Book in 2000 and is not only being attacked unjustly, but his reasons are disturbing.

I encourage you to go out and buy a banned book that you have wanted to read or go to your local library to check one out. Read one in your book club. Support banned books!

Why else should we support banned books? The article Censorship is rampant and lethal from the School Library Journal can explain it better than I ever could.

Time to lighten the mood! I found this web series called Book Club that I think is worth sharing. I think the characters are quite unique and cannot wait to see more.

Lastly, I wanted to share that my friend Natasha Nuhanovic's poetry collection is out! A big congrats to her and I encourage you to check out her writing. It is beautiful and moving.

Natasha

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