Monday, February 26, 2007

Celebrate Freedom by Reading a Banned Book

Here are some terrific sites where you can learn more about banned or challenged books.

Fahrenheit 451: Banned Books - Elaine Anderson, who works at the Pelham Public Library in Ontario, Canada hosts this blog which discusses banned books. She has some fun posters you can add to your site, such as the one at the bottom. At the top of her sidebar you can join the Banned Book Challenge, which is to read as many banned or challenged books as you wish between Feb 26 and June 30, 2007. I know we are all about challenged out, but this is one I can't pass up. I think I can readjust some of the books in my other challenges to work in with this one.

The Freedom to Read - This is a Canadian site that offers clip art, posters and suggestions for participating in the freedom of reading.

The Forbidden Library - This site is in conjunction with and lists banned and challenged books by alphabetically by title or by author. A great source to pick books from for the Banned Book Challenge. It also provides Censorship quotes like this one: "The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion..."
-- Henry Steel Commager

ALA - American Library Association sponsors their banned book week in Sept. It has a section on Intellectual Freedom, posters, etc.

100 Most Frequently Challenged Books (1990-2000) - A list put together by ALA.


jenclair said...

Most of the Banned Books seem to be for school libraries. Funny, I censored my children's reading to some degree by what I chose to buy or check out for them, but I didn't want anyone else doing it.

Where does the desire to censor everyone else's reading come from?

I'm all for supervising the reading of your own children. My children were reading adult books very early, but I sure didn't want them reading The Silence of the Lambs (which I was reading)! If they wanted to pull The History of the Third Reich from my shelves and give it a try, more power to them! Chaucer? The Norton Anthololgy of Poetry? You go, girls! I balked at Sweet Valley High. Go figure. They read them anyway.

Bellezza said...

Oooh! I think we should host a challenge to read Banned Books! The minute I'm told not to do something is the minute I want to start doing it. I'm going to the sites you listed to see what I've already read, and what I've been missing. Thanks!

Alyson said...

I think I may join this challenge as well. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to read, or how many, but it sounds fun. I went through the 2007 list posted host's website and I have read a bunch of the books already, but I have highlighted even more that sound interesting.

P.S. Owen Meany is on there, so you could add it to your Banned Books list and kill two birds with one stone. It kind of suprises me that Owen Meany made it on the list but none of John Irvings other books are. I think there were some much more controversial topics in his other books than there was in Owen Meany. (wow that was a long P.S.)

Booklogged said...

Jenclair, I agree with you. I definitely was involved with what my children were reading. I also think I had an obligation to prepare them to discerning adult readers. There is a lot of trash that I don't snarking around in my mind, but I do want the right to choose.

And I do hope librarians, especially those in schools, use good sense in choosing how to spend taxpayers money. There are definitely some on the list I would not like to see in school libraries, but if they are there, I'd rather educate my child on how to make wise reading choices than have the book banned.

Booklogged said...

Bellezza, sounds like you have that same rebellious spirit I do. That said, I still don't want to read the trashy stuff. Elaine at Farenheit 451 is hosting the challenge.

Good for you, Alyson. I'm so glad you noticed Owen Meany on the list. I didn't, but I'll definitely add it to my challenge list.

hellomelissa said...

i'm going to check these out because with the explicit content in SO many books these days, i'd be curious as to what books were banned and why. thanks booklogged!

Lotus Reads said...

I just read that the recently awarded Newbery Prize book, "A High Power of Lucky" might be barred from school libraries because of the mention of the word "scrotum" which appears on one of the first pages of the book! I don't have an opinion on that yet - it's a tough one. Was it necessary for the author to use that word? And in what context did she use it I wonder? But even so,do we need to barr it? If it won the prestigious Newbery Medal, surely it's a worthy read?

Anonymous said...

I've read a surprising number of those banned books! Wow, the things we try to save our children from.

Anonymous said...

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom just published the 2006 most frequently challenged books. Topping the list is "And Tango Makes Three," Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell's award-winning book about two male penguins parenting an egg from a mixed-sex penguin couple. Their book tops the list due to the issues of homosexuality.