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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Be Really, Really Bad This Week

"Books, not which afford us a cowering enjoyment, but in which each thought is of unusual daring; such as an idle man cannot read, and a timid one would not be entertained by, which even make us dangerous to existing institution /such call I good books." -- Henry David Thoreau

Tomorrow, February 25th, marks the beginning of Canada's "Freedom to Read," week. Yes, even in 2007 books are challenged and (crazy) people demand they be taken out of libraries for their "explicit sexual content," their use of "offensive language," because they "promote homosexuality" (god forbid!) or, my personal favorite (because I was surrounded by people like this during my teen years in the early 90's when supposedly little children were being sacrificed daily in the woods), because of an "occult theme or promoting the occult or Satanism."

According to the American Library Association (which holds a similar event in the fall, but I couldn't wait that long!) the top 10 challenged authors in 2005 were - now be prepared; these writers are scandalous - Judy Blume, Robert Cormier, Chris Crutcher, Robie Harris, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Toni Morrison, J.D. Salinger, Lois Lowry (author of The Giver and one of the greatest books I never read in school but am so glad it was recommended to me as an adult), Marilyn Reynolds and Sonya Sones.

I realize that several of these authors probably aren't surprising to you, but what about these from the ALA's list of Top 10 Most Challenged Authors from 1990-2004 (those not mentioned above): Alvin Schwartz (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark), J.K. Rowling (The Harry Potter series), Michael Willhoite (Daddy's Roomate), Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia), Stephen King, Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings), R.L. Stine (Goosebumps series) and John Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men).


**If you want a real hoot, check out this list of the ALA's 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–20001. I'm proud to say I've read quite a few of them and most were assigned to me when I attended a wonderful public school!!!

Now bear in mind that 71% of these "challenges" were brought against books assigned in schools or in school libraries and, yes, in an effort for us parents to control everything, 60% of those people making the challenges were parents. *sigh*

So what I'm asking you to do this week is pick up at least one of these really evil, scandalous, moral eroding tales and READ IT! And feel really, really good while you do ;)

I've already got a couple I want to try and read this week with Bridge to Terabithia at the top of the list, followed closely by The Chocolate War. This stuff is just too good to pass up and having an event like "Freedom to Read Week" is the perfect inspiration.

So be bad this week ... be very, very bad. And let me know what you're reading.

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At 2/24/2007 02:29:00 PM, Blogger fahrenheit451moderator said...

Celebrate Freedom to Read a little longer if you are going to read a couple of banned books anyway. The Pelham Public Library in Fonthill, Ontario is issuing a "Banned Book Challenge" and inviting the world to come along.

If you would like to register or if you want to find great links to banned books and censorship issues, visit Find the challenge on the right sidebar and follow the link to register. Challenged authors Deborah Ellis, Meg Cabot, and Maryrose Wood have joined us.

At 2/25/2007 01:14:00 AM, Blogger cherylann said...

This is one of the most ridiculous things I have read... what the hell is wrong with people. If a person is reading a book nowadays, maybe we should just rejoice in that instead of telling them they are reading the wrong book. Judy Blume books? Maya Angelou? Who are these people who want books like this banned???? Book Nazis!

At 2/25/2007 05:34:00 PM, Blogger Em said...

I am always so happy when someone encourages me to be bad! You can count on me to be a very, very bad boy this week! :)

So many of these books are outstanding. Censorship is just so wrong.

At 2/26/2007 12:45:00 AM, Blogger Alex Elliot said...

I personally am going to try to get my hands on a copy of the Higher Power of Lucky.

At 3/01/2007 04:30:00 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

Thanks for the info, Fahrenheit451moderator. Very nice website ... I'll take that challenge!

And Alex, I've never read Higher Power of Lucky, but I'll be sure to put it on my list of "Must Reads"


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