Thursday, September 28, 2006

Reading is FUN-damental

"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."
Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

September 23-30 is banned books week. Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2006, marks BBW's 25th anniversary.
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. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.
It pains me that we even need a week to remind people of this fact.
The American Library Association keeps a list of objectionable reads that are being challenged for their content. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.
Here is a list of some of the forbidden pages being challenged:
"Harry Potter" (Series) (J.K. Rowling)
"To Kill a Mockingbird" (Harper Lee)
"The Color Purple" (Alice Walker)
"The Outsiders" (S.E. Hinton)
"Lord of the Flies" (William Golding)
"Of Mice and Men" (John Steinbeck)
"Goosebumps" (Series) (R.L. Stine)
"How to Eat Fried Worms" (Thomas Rockwell)
"The Catcher in the Rye" (J.D. Salinger)
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (Mark Twain)
"The Giver" (Lois Lowry)
"Brave New World" (Aldous Huxley)
"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (Mark Twain)
"Captain Underpants" (Dav Pilkey)
"The Anarchist Cookbook" (William Powell)
"Carrie" (Stephen King)
"Flowers for Algernon" (Daniel Keyes)
"The Dead Zone" (Stephen King)
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (Maya Angelou)
"Go Ask Alice" (anonymous)
"American Psycho" (Bret Easton Ellis)
"The Chocolate War" (Robert Cormier)
"James and the Giant Peach" (Roald Dahl)
"The Pigman" (Paul Zindel)
"A Wrinkle in Time" (Madeleine L'Engle)
The positive message of Banned Books Week: Free People Read Freely is that due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection.
Nevertheless, the week is upon us so let's make the most of it. After all, thumb-nosing librarians and freedom-loving bookstore owners are celebrating the 25th anniversary of reading verboten material - and you should too!
So pick up a challenged or banned book from your local library or bookstore and take it for a test drive. Or, barring that, let me know which, if any, of these books that you have actually read and what they mean to you now.

2 Comments:

Blogger Cynthia said...

Some of these I have read, some I have seen the movie version, some both. It's unbelievable what is on this list! Most of them are considered classics.

I recently re-read "A Wrinkle in Time", which I love. I highly recommend her book "Two-Part Invention" which is about her marriage to Hugh Franklin.

And I am eagerly awaiting the 7th Harry Potter book!

10:14 AM, October 02, 2006  
Blogger FoxInDetox said...

I have read...

Harry Potter...just for fun
To Kill a Mockingbird...I am Scout
The Color Purple...interesting
The Outsiders... I like to fight
Lord of the Flies... pig heads on a stick turn me on
Of Mice and Men...dated Lenny
Goosebumps...my step son's fav
How to eat fried worms...6th grade
The Catcher and the Rye...dark days
The Adventures of Huck Finn...made me run away in pursuit of adventure
Brave New World...futuristic society fascinate me
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer...see Huck Finn.
The Anarchist Cookbook... he he he
Carrie... it's that pig thing again
The Dead Zone.. morbid fascination with SK.
I know why the caged bird sings.. M.A. extraordinary writer.
Go Ask Alice...highschool angst
James and the Giant Peach..4th grade book report.
The Pigman...what can I say
A Wrinkle In Time...it's a physics thing.

2:33 PM, October 27, 2006  

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