Thursday, September 29, 2005

Banned Books Week

Did you know that this week is the American Library Association's - Banned Books Week? I love this idea - it is a week where libaries across America celebrate the freedom to choose, as the ALA say " Banned Books Week (BBW) celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them." Isn't that the foundation of democracy - allowing the minority, perhaps the unlikeable, ideas to be communicated?

Banned Book Week has been going on since 1982! It is amazing that we even have to have such a week, that there are people in this country who would dismiss basic tenets of American democracy and liberty out of a fear of a thought or idea in a book. I chalk up most censorship of books to poor parenting, if you don't want your kid to read a book, you go with them to the library when they pick books out, don't punish everyone cause your lazy.

Check out the ALA website (no pun intended) - they have a list of the 100 most frequently challenged books.

I couldn't believe some of the books I saw on the list:
To Kill a Mockingbird - that is a classic, should be mandatory reading for all school children!
James and the Giant Peach - are you kidding me with this? What is wrong with this book?
Flowers for Alegeron - dealing with deep issues about choices we make, why ban this?
Summer of my German Solider - read a long time ago, can't remember what is objectionable?

Reading about this makes me glad again that my mother and grandfather instilled in me a deep love of the written word and never limited what I read.

"Go ahead and open up a book" - Reading Rainbow television show.


Blogger Random Kath said...

I also read anything that wasn't nailed down as a child . . . and my mom and grandfather highly encouraged it too.

I did not find out until after my grandfather died that he was functionally illiterate. My mom used do all of his bills and stuff, but since she is an accountant type, I just chalked that up to family using her talents. He would have my mom pick out books for me for presents. Knowing how proud my grandfather was, it made me want to do what I could to help other adults learn to read . . . thus my involvement with the Literacy Council and ESL classes.

If parents are doing their jobs right, they should not feel threatened by ANYTHING that their kids read . . . I'm glad that mine weren't . . . they raised me to be able to think for myself.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Wow - that is unbelievable about your grandfather, how difficult life must have been for him and he never said anything. Humbles me.
Your work on helping others with English and learning to read is so awesome!

4:07 PM  
Blogger o0ohso0ocrazy said...

seriously.can books be banned?tats like un lawful.and you know not even a book worm type(im TRYING!!!)the reason those books are being challenged is probably because their teaching us a life lesson.and many people don't think that the way the authors put it is very polite.well screw them.the only book i agree with is "Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor" whoa.those books were bad.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Merci said...

I absolutely cannot believe that A Wrinkle in Time is on the list! How on earth could it possibly be offensive? Unbelievable!

What's next, Little Women?

7:00 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Naema - see you this weekend!
Merci - I couldn't believe "A Wrinkle in Time was on the list, the only thing offensive about that book to me was it was boring (sorry if you're a fan). Who are these people who are objecting to these books? Get a life, I say!

8:32 AM  
Blogger Maidink said...

My liberal side says "Banning books? That's pretty asinine!"

My conservative side says "Banning books? That's pretty asinine!"

My child LOVES to read and to think someone might take a book away from her because THEY are offended ... oh no. Not happening.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Merci said...

No offense taken! It's a great book when your 4th grade teacher reads it aloud to the class one chapter at a time. Remember, I grew up before video games, computers, and before most folks had color TVs.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Belinda said...

You know, I was looking at the list just the other day, and at first I thought it was books people were wanting out of school libraries. I was still shocked at many of the choices, but when I got to Madonna's "SEX", I thought, "Well, there's no reason for that to be in school..." Then I realized we were talking PUBLIC LIBRARIES!!!! At that point I was shocked, appalled, horrified. Who dares "challenge" my Toni Morrison? Philistines! And many of the books were required reading for me, in public school, in Junior High (i.e. "The Pigman", "The Outsiders"). Wow. Some people have too much times on their hands and too much crazy in their heads.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Norma said...

These books were challenged, not banned. When my kids were little I asked the story hour people not to include "Little Black Sambo." That's not even a formal challenge but it was still being used in the 1970s.

Most of the real banning comes with the ordering. Librarians are 223:1 liberal to conservative, so you can guess what isn't making it to the shelves. You can always make a case for not buying a book--quality, cost, others like it in the collection, etc. Conservative political titles and Christian titles are the first on the chopping block.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Interesting point Norma (thanks for stopping by btw)....a reverse censoring by not ordering books. While I don't care for things like "the prayer of Jebez" and anything by Bill O'Rielly, I don't think they should be censored through not ordering. All thoughts and opinions must be put into the arena for us to have a true democracy. Thanks for showing the other side.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful and informative web site.I used information from that site its great.
Hummer plant in mishawakaindiana Airport rent a car mazatlan Provigil with c.o.d How many countries won soccer medals sport track roof rack face lift celebrity Kia sedona 2006 blog 2002 mazda tribute es review tristar surveillance Hummer fuel effecient

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice site! » »

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! Sim free slot machine cost of medicare part b Accesories for multimedia projectors Womens long jogging pants Leadership training italy Free way to contact mass email list High gloss sealant glaze car wax bontril bulk email ceo real estate south carolina net email advertising Us mitsubishi industrial equipment

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking for information and found it at this great site... Skoda octavia sport tdi Pronunciation venlafaxine prescriprion xanax Interior decoration schools near killeen tx Kitchen  bath design Blowjob redhead

1:40 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home