Chapter 40- Banned Books Week!
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know how I feel about banned or challenged books. BannedBooksWeek.org has a great tag line for the week this year - Books Unite Us/Censorship Divides Us and I have to admit I wholeheartedly agree with that.
In 1982 Banned Books Week was initiated to highlight the value of free and open access to information by bringing attention to the attempts to remove books and other materials from libraries, schools, and bookstores.
Jason Reynolds, a young adult book writer, is the Honorary Chair of this year's celebration. He is an advocate for storytelling and a critic of censorship and states his position well, "To censor a book is to damage the framework in which we live,” adds Reynolds. “Any time we eliminate or wall off certain narratives, we are not getting a whole picture of the world in which we live. And navigating the world in a way that is closed-off, closed-minded, is poisonous. It means that we limit our vocabulary, which complicates how we communicate with one another. We have to celebrate stories and ensure that all books have a space on the shelves and the opportunity to live in the psyches of our children, as they grow into the human beings who will inherit this wonderful place.”
Here is a list of books which have been censored in recent years. Have you read any of them? If you have thanks for being subversive!
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - banned because of themes of poverty, alcoholism, and sexuality.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - banned due to racial slurs and featuring a "white savior".
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison - banned because of sexuality
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - banned due to racial stereotypes
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - banned because of profanity and vulgarity
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - banned because of magic and using nefarious means to achieve goals
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - banned because it might lead to "terrorism" and "promote Islam"