Welcome to my stop on the Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop! This hop is hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer, and Jen from I Read Banned Books! This hop is inspired by the ALA’s Banned Books Week that runs from September 24th to October 1st
After reading so many dystopian themed books recently, I have no trouble imagining the danger involved with allowing any group to control what we read. An attempt to control what a society reads is an attempt to control how a society thinks. I fully support the First Amendment and feel that censorship has no place in my country, state, city, library, or schools, and certainly not on my bookshelves. It makes me furious that some of the most challenged books are those that would provide our children with different perspectives on issues that are a well established fact of life, such as racism, homosexuality, and religion. I think that by allowing children to explore these issues, there is a strong likelihood that they may grow up without some of the same biases that cripple so many of us. While I understand the need to monitor what is appropriate for my child’s age, I do not feel the need to control my child’s personal beliefs and am happy to tell him what I believe but allow him the freedom to learn, grow, and discover his own opinions.
Furthermore, some of the most often challenged books are those that speak about very sensitive subject matter, such as sexual issues, rape, cutting, eating disorders, and suicide. These are so important to have available to our kids. I can’t even understand why someone would want to ban these type of books that have the potential to save lives. I have read so many accounts of these books having such a huge impact on the lives of teens and tweens. Why would we want to take that lifeline away from our kids simply because the subject matter may make some of us uncomfortable. Censorship is not an acceptable alternative to parenting. We should talk to our kids, monitor what they read, listen to, watch, etc. I don’t need any book burning/banning to help me be a mom.
Whatever your opinion may be about banning books, I fully support your right to have that opinion and even to write about it. That’s the beauty of the First Amendment.
Here is a list of the most challenged books of 2011
1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: "Homosexuality, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group"
2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Offensive language, Racism, Sex Education, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group, Violence
3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Reasons: Insensitivity, Offensive Language, Racism, Sexually Explicit
4. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: Drugs, Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit
5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: "Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group, Violence"
6. Lush by Natasha Friend
Reasons: "Drugs, Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group"
7. What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones
Reasons: "Sexism, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group"
8. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America by Barbara Ehrenreich
Reasons: "Drugs, Inaccurate, Offensive Language, Political Viewpoint, Religious Viewpoint
9. Revolutionary Voices edited by Amy Sonnie
Reasons: "Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit"
10. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: "Religious Viewpoint, Violence"
One winner will receive up to $20 in books from the Book Depository. Book choices are limited to those on the banned and challenged list above and the much longer list here: http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/challengedbydecade/2000_2009/index.cfm
Giveaway open to anywhere that the Book Depository ships to, it is your responsibility to make sure that the Book Depository ships to your country. Being a follower is not required to enter.
Be sure to visit all of the other wonderful giveaways celebrating Banned Books Week!