Friday, September 25, 2009

Book Bloggers for Book Smarts Challenge!

(Ack! I forgot! It's Banned Books Weeks until October 6th... guess I started Catcher in the Rye just in time, huh?)

Donna from Lit Bites is hosting a fantastic challenge celebrating Banned Books Month! Book reviewers or basically anyone with a blog can join- just get some knowledge about Banned and challenged books (wikipedia has great articles, and I think there's a website I'll post soon...), read some and post reviews.

Banned and challenged books are issues that've always interested me- have you ever looked at some official lists for challenged books? Here's some of my favorite examples that show exactly how ridiculous censorship is:

The Anastasia series by Lois Lowry, 8 year old me's favorite books EVER!, was challenged greatly in the 90's. Reason? Your guess is as good as mine. They were hilarious books! I don't remember a single thing wrong with them.

Several of Shel Silverstein's children's poetry books have been challenged. A Light in the Attic, for example. Why? Because on one page it showed a child smashing a plate. Remember the poem about the girl who wouldn't do her chores? That single illustration and poem is the solitary reason. As if Silverstein's books are going to spark a revolution among five year olds. (I can see them now: "Quick, Bobby! Get the diapers- we're gonna tear this place DOWN.")

And something really- in a twisted, sadistic kind of way- hilarious? Farenheit 451, which I'm reading now, is perennially challenged. This book is about censorship and those who ban books for fear of creating too much individualism and independent thought. It's required reading in many, many schools because it teaches about censorship, and the wrongness of it. I'll let the irony speak for itself.

Another one I just found, Alice On Her Way by Phyliss Reynolds Naylor, was challenged by parents because of "two cuss words". Um...

To Kill A Mocking Bird, by Harper Lee, a fantastic classic, is challenged frequently as well. In one town, a resident want the book banned from all schools and libraries because they "thought it would upset little black children". Once again, um...

Finally, in Wisconsin in early February, groups were trying to ban and PUBLICLY BURN a Weetzie Bat book! The third in Francesca Lia BLock's series, Baby Be-Bop.

Here's a bit from an article discussing the issue:
"At a June 3 public hearing, the library board received two petitions (700 signatures supporting the restriction, 1,000 opposed) on the issue and listened to dozens of statements.... Then it voted unanimously to leave the books where they are."
But a new group called the Christian Civil Liberties Union is still gunning for the book -- they actually want it burned in a public ceremony, not just removed from the shelves.

0_o is the expression on my face right now, because I just read about that.

I'll be posting reviews of books, particualarly modern classics, so look out for those! Also, I'd love it if ou head over to Lit Bites and check it out (read the comments too... there was a little skirmish, if you will, in them over the issue. I find it worthy of reading.)!

For more information, try these sites:

What do you think about censorship? Time for your side!


Anonymous said...

OMG I loooooooooooooooved the Anastasia books! Partly because we share the same first name :). And this doesn't have much to do with this, but I heard 'they' want to change "Baa Baa Blake Sheep" to "Baa Baa Rainbow" sheep because they think the black thing sounds racist. I mean WTF?


Donna said...

Thanks for the pimp! Long live banned books!

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