Monday, September 28, 2009

Banned Books Week

The last week of September isn't just the last week of my 20's (it's okay, really) it is also Banned Books Week.

In high school I remember a few very loud parents flipping out about The Bean Trees. Frankly, as a freshman I thought the book was fantastic and not just because of the illicit mention of a penis. After the eighth grade reading list, I was just damn happy it wasn't another book about a boy and his dog - or a boy and his pig.

This year's most challenged books include:
And Tango Makes Three - Not gay penguins! I wonder if they reconsidered after it turned out the penguins were bisexual...

Gossip Girl series - Turns out it was books before it was a television show. I'm never one to accuse a book of what it's TV adaptation does, so I'll refrain from comment.

TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R series - I couldn't quite bring myself to read a book full of texting, but I betcha a whole bunch of teens love it. Also, it doesn't look like any books about teenage boys claiming their sexuality are the list...strange...

Uncle Bobby's Wedding - Oh noes! Its the gays again! Showing an example of a loving family to boot, how dare they? One librarian had a pretty awesome response.
Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress.

There is a list of ways that you and your local library or book store can support Banned Books Week. One of them is to "include a Banned Books Week feature in your organization's newsletter or on your blog." Since I am a nerd and always do what (radical) librarians tell me to do...done!

They have also put together a map of all of the known challenges across the country, including one just through the tunnel in Concord, California:
"Lois Lowry's The Giver was challenged by two parents at the Mount Diablo School District who objected to its descriptions of adolescent pill use, suicide and lethal injections given to babies and the elderly."
Here's a thought: how about you read the book. Not only is The Giver an all around amazing book, it is a dystopian novel. For those of you who don't like readin' stuff that means it takes place in a time period that is nor our own and is the opposite of a utopia. In other words, it is saying that those things that you are so ignorantly railing against are bad! Then again, I also wrote a graduate school paper on the entire series (yes, Lowry wrote two more recently) about how the book is also against anti-intellectualism and a lack of analytical curiosity and supports adolescent individualism and agency, but we wouldn't want you kids getting any ideas, would we?

I doubt that any the same folks that asked for these books to be pulled have asked the same of the text books that have been proven to have inaccurate information. Yeah...nope.

View Book Bans and Challenges, 2007-2009 in a larger map

Thanks to Sociological Images for the heads up.

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