Friday, September 24, 2010

A Birthday Gift For Me, From You


And I have the perfect gift in mind:

Read a banned book!

Banned Books Week starts tomorrow, and in light of the recent Speak controversy, I’m encouraging everyone I know to read a banned book! If you can afford to purchase one, that would be ideal, but if not… your local library is just as good.

What constitutes a banned book? Any book that has been challenged based on content. Whether it was removed from a school curriculum, removed from libraries, burned, protested, placed in a separate restricted section, etc.

There are plenty of resources on the internet for Banned Books Week with lists of books the banners love to hate, discussions on why censorship is so dangerous, and lists of blogs dealing with the subject directly, so I’m just going to content myself with linking to some of them.

I may not agree with the message(s) in all of these banned books, but I disagree with censorship even more. I think this issue is most prevalent (and dangerous) in books for children and teens, but it’s important to remember that every child is different. Just because a person thinks a book isn’t right for their child, doesn’t mean it’s not right for every other child. Parents who are concerned about what their kids may be reading should get involved – with their child, not with the school board or library board.

If you can’t decide on a banned book (sadly, there are SO MANY to choose from), may I offer some recommendations?

Fahrenheit 451 – When I heard this book was banned, it was like IRONY became a heavy-weight boxer, reached out and slapped me in the face. Banning a book that’s about banning books? Is this a joke? It’s not very funny.

Speak – A heartbreaking, healing, lovely book by Laurie Halse Anderson that follows a high-school girl dealing with the after-effects of being raped.

As a final thought, I’ll leave you with this picture, stolen from Laurie Halse Anderson’s blog:


  1. *chuckles* It's a funny coincidence, but I'd already decided to read "Fahrenheit 451" before I read your post. Thanks for the reminder about Banned Book Week, though.

  2. yay for your birthday! hope you have a lovely day :) it's my sons birthday today too - he's 8 :)