Thursday, September 24, 2009

Banned Books Week

During the last week of September every year, hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2009 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 26 through October 3.

And Tango Makes Three has topped the list of banned and challenged books three years running. Cady and I reviewed this book last year. Click on this link to read what we said about it.

Here's another link, this time to a librarian's answer to a patron who wanted the book Uncle Bobby's Wedding removed from the shelves. These sections seem to me especially pertinent:
"It seems to me – as a father who has done a lot of reading to his kids over the years – that that kind of decision is up to the parents, not the library. Because here's the truth of the matter: not every parent has the same value system."

"Our whole system of government was based on the idea that the purpose of the state was to preserve individual liberties, not to dictate them."

"I believe that every book in the children's area, particularly in the area where usually the parent is reading the book aloud, involves parental guidance."

"Library collections don't imply endorsement; they imply access to the many different ideas of our culture, which is precisely our purpose in public life."
Let's celebrate our freedom to read!

To learn more:

The Kids' Right to Read Project interviews the author, Chris Crutcher. Watch the four-minute video or read the transcript of the video.

This map shows where books have been censored. This site also links to details about specific books that have been banned or challenged.

How can YOU celebrate Banned Books Week?

How about reading a banned book? And if you have a blog, write something about the book you read. Or at least tell us you read it. I would love for you to come back here to comment and tell us which book you read. Let's do it!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It strikes me that it's all an attempt to deny the reality of the world out there. While I agree that children need to be protected, they also need to know about the world they're growing up in. The onus is on children's writers to that responsibly. I am gobsmacked that so many books have been banned and particularly And Tango Makes Three. Totally nuts!