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Banned Books

#Banned Books Week. Have You Read These?

Let’s look at the top 10 books that were challenged in 2016

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association, ala.org/bbooks/NLW-Top10

I find this year’s list really interesting: there are two books for adults that are on the list. My first thought is: Why is an adult book being brought into a library for children? My second thought was: Did the students request these books or did the librarian think these books were appropriate? I need answers before I pass judgement.

 

This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
This young adult graphic novel, winner of both a Printz and a Caldecott Honor Award, was restricted, relocated, and banned because it includes LGBT characters, drug use, and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes.

 

Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
Parents, librarians, and administrators banned this Stonewall Honor Award-winning graphic novel for young adults because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint.

 

George written by Alex Gino
Despite winning a Stonewall Award and a Lambda Literary Award, administrators removed this children’s novel because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels.”

 

I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
This children’s picture book memoir was challenged and removed because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints.

 

Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan
Included on the National Book Award longlist and designated a Stonewall Honor Book, this young adult novel was challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content.

 

Looking for Alaska written by John Green
This 2006 Printz Award winner is a young adult novel that was challenged and restricted for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation.”

 

Big Hard Sex Criminals written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
Considered to be sexually explicit by library staff and administrators, this compilation of adult comic books by two prolific award-winning artists was banned and challenged.

 

Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread written by Chuck Palahniuk
This collection of adult short stories, which received positive reviews from Newsweek and the New York Times, was challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive.”

 

Little Bill (series) written by Bill Cosby and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood
This children’s book series was challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author.

 

Eleanor & Park written by Rainbow Rowell
One of seven New York Times Notable Children’s Books and a Printz Honor recipient, this young adult novel was challenged for offensive language.

So with the exception of the two adult books, and the Little Bill books, I think the list is fairly typical. Seems like schools and parents don’t want kids reading about teens engaging in sex or about people of the LGBT orientation; which is plain scary. Like kids don’t know these things exist.

Have you read any of these?

Categories
Books

It’s #BannedBooks Week! #infographic

Banned Books Week
Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association, ala.org/bbooks/NLW-Top10

Categories
Banned Books

Banned Book Week: Here’s Another Tough Question

Banned Book Week:
Here’s another tough question

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That’s a tough one: probably Scout. So I can show her how the world has changed.

Categories
Banned Books

Banned Book Week: Tough Questions…

Banned Book Week

Tough questions…

bbw16prompt1

Confronting banned books makes you stop and think. Why do I feel this way? Are my feelings valid, biased, or conflicted? If you stop and think about it, you can probably understand why a parent would want to ban a book. But choosing books for your child  is a right of each parent, not a school board or other governing body.

That said, some people have gone to jail over their decisions regarding banned books.  What banned book would you go to jail defending?

Me? Probably I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

What about you?

Categories
Banned Books

Banned Books Week is Coming

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Banned Books Week is Coming!

Banning books restricts our freedom to read and we don’t want that.

Stick around to find out if YOUR fave book was challenged or banned.

Categories
Banned Books

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop: Authors of Color

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom To Read

All this week I’ll be celebrating banned books week by highlighting challenged or banned books. Why is banned books week important? According to the American Library Association (of which I’m a member),

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

As a parent, you have a right to decide what your own children should be exposed to, but I strongly believe that you do not have the right to dictate what other children have access to. So, let’s celebrate the books that have been challenged and see if you’ve read any of them and you can make the decision for yourself. Each day of Banned Books Week I’ll highlight several of the titles that were challenged or banned last year. Let’s see how they stack up.  Also? This is a blog hop so I’ll giveaway a $10 Amazon gift card to the winner!

Today’s the last day of Banned Books Week. In honor of that I thought we’d take a look at the authors of color and how they’ve played a role in BBW.  To be sure, authors of color include just about everyone who isn’t in the White majority, which brings a full complement of experiences to literature that readers might not otherwise be exposed.  Because many of these experiences contain violent situations and language, they are frequently part of the challenged and banned books list.

I’ve made a collage of the authors of color who often appear on the list.  Let’s see if you recognize any of them.

authors of color

Hard to believe, isn’t it? Without these books we wouldn’t have any idea of the African American experience, the Hispanic experience or the Native American experience.  Can you imagine not knowing what you know about those groups and their struggles? And who didn’t cry when they read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor?

What’s your fave author of color?

Thanks for tuning in to Banned Books Week!

 

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Banned Books

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom To Read

All this week I’ll be celebrating banned books week by highlighting challenged or banned books. Why is banned books week important? According to the American Library Association (of which I’m a member),

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

As a parent, you have a right to decide what your own children should be exposed to, but I strongly believe that you do not have the right to dictate what other children have access to. So, let’s celebrate the books that have been challenged and see if you’ve read any of them and you can make the decision for yourself. Each day of Banned Books Week I’ll highlight several of the titles that were challenged or banned last year. Let’s see how they stack up. Also? This is a blog hop so I’ll giveaway a $10 Amazon gift card to the winner!

Today we’re featuring books by African Americans.

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers

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Ironically, Fallen Angels was

Challenged on the Danbury Middle School reading list in Toledo, Ohio (2013) because of inappropriate language. The book depicts the reality of the Vietnam War, with sometimes gruesome descriptions of combat and frequent foul language from soldiers.

But here’s the question that I’d like answered: what kind of language would you expect soldiers to use? I know the books are for young teens but depicting soldiers using language that is a little too clean, might be a little too unrealistic.  I don’t know about where you live, but around here, Fallen Angels is on many schools’ required reading lists.

Have you read it?

Next lets visit  Ralph Ellison.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

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Please don’t confuse Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison with The Invisible Man by HG Wells!

As he journeys from the Deep South to the streets and basements of Harlem, from a horrifying “battle royal” where black men are reduced to fighting animals, to a Communist rally where they are elevated to the status of trophies, Ralph Ellison’s nameless protagonist ushers readers into a parallel universe that throws our own into harsh and even hilarious relief. Suspenseful and sardonic, narrated in a voice that takes in the symphonic range of the American language, black and white, Invisible Man is one of the most audacious and dazzling novels of our century.

 

For the same reasons that Invisible Man is an important read to understand the struggles of the African American community, Invisible Man has also been challenged. To be sure, the book contains strong language but you cannot properly depict the struggles of that era by using tame language, I think.  Either way, it’ll make you think.

Have you read either of these books or anything by Walter Dean Myers?

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Categories
Banned Books

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop!

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom To Read

All this week I’ll be celebrating banned books week by highlighting challenged or banned books. Why is banned books week important? According to the American Library Association (of which I’m a member),

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

As a parent, you have a right to decide what your own children should be exposed to, but I strongly believe that you do not have the right to dictate what other children have access to. So, let’s celebrate the books that have been challenged and see if you’ve read any of them and you can make the decision for yourself. Each day of Banned Books Week I’ll highlight several of the titles that were challenged or banned last year. Let’s see how they stack up.  Also? This is a blog hop so I’ll giveaway a $10 Amazon gift card to the winner!

The Absolutely true Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

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There aren’t many books about Native American students so this book is important on that level. To be sure, this book is not for little kids, but I guarantee that what’s inside is no different than what your teens hear or say on the bus and at school. It’s relevant and they need to learn to appreciate Native American culture. Here’s what it’s about:

n his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney, that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

Here’s why it was challenged:

Removed as required reading in a Queens,N.Y. middle school (2013) because the book included excerpts on masturbation. The book, which tells the story of a Native American who transfers into an all-white high school, won the 2007 National Book Foundation award for Young People’s Literature. Challenged on the tenth-grade required reading list at Skyview High School in Billings, Mt. (2013) because “[t]his book is, shockingly, written by a Native American who reinforces all the negative stereotypes of his people and does it from the crude, obscene, and unfiltered viewpoint of a ninth-grader growing up on the reservation.” Pulled from the Jefferson County, W.V. schools (2013) because a parent complained about the novel’s graphic nature. Challenged in a Sweet Home, Oreg. Junior High English class (2014) because of concerns about its content, particularly what some parents see as the objectification of women and young girls, and the way alternative lessons were developed and presented. Parents of the eighth-graders in the language arts classes received information summarizing the novel’s most controversial issues before the unit started and had the option of asking for an alternative assignment.

What are your thoughts? Worth challenging/banning?

 

The House of the Sprits by Isabel Allende

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I’m fast tracking this title to my TBR list.  Based on the description I am reminded of my beloved Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Magical realism is where it is AT, y’all.  Allende is going to be my new bestie. Here’s what it’s about:

n one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Isabel Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies. Here is patriarch Esteban, whose wild desires and political machinations are tempered only by his love for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman touched by an otherworldly hand. Their daughter, Blanca, whose forbidden love for a man Esteban has deemed unworthy infuriates her father, yet will produce his greatest joy: his granddaughter Alba, a beautiful, ambitious girl who will lead the family and their country into a revolutionary future.

At first blush it might seem like the story is about the man; but from what I’ve gathered it’s about the women of the family with the patriarch being the common thread.  Here’s why it was challenged:

Challenged in the Watauga County, N.C. High School (2013) curriculum because of the book’s graphic nature. After a five-month process, the book was fully retained at a third and final appeal hearing.

The graphic nature the challenge refers to is sexual violence. While I don’t condone that sort of thing in real life, there are many books that contain this element that students read year in and year out.  Choose for yourself.  Meanwhile, I’m grabbing this title from the bookstore tonight!

Stay tuned next time for another look into Banned Books Week. What do you think of these titles? Would you read them? Have you read them?

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