Wednesday, September 26, 2007

13 Thoughts About Banned Books Week (TT #29 )

2007 Banned Books Week: Ahoy! Treasure Your Freedom to Read and Get Hooked on a Banned Book

Since Banned Books Week is coming up, I decided to make a Thursday 13 out of it.

1. I think I was in Junior High before I realized that there was such a thing as a "banned book". I was a library aide in Jr. High (shocking, right?) and my librarian pulled me aside and said, "And these books behind the counter are 'banned books'. We can't put them on the shelf, but you can check them out any time you want." God love her.

2. Banned Books Week is September 29-October 6 this year.

3. Of the 10 Most Challenged Books of 2006, I have read only one (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), but I have another of the books (The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things) on my TBR shelf.

4. Judy Blume has consistently been one of the most challenged authors. Nobody can do adolescent-girl literature like Judy Blume. One year for my birthday, I got a stack of Judy Blume books (Blubber; Iggie's House; Are you There, God? It's me Margaret; It's Not the End of the World) and they remain some of my favorite gifts to date. They're still on my bookshelf.

5. I signed up for a Banned Books and Authors Book Box at Bookcrossing yesterday. All books in the box have to either be on one of the top 100 banned books lists or be written by an author that's on a banned author list. I have several books that fit the description.

6. The ALA Website gives these ideas for fighting censorship.

7. This is the 26th anniversary of Banned Books Week.

8. “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”—Noam Chomsky

9. “Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime . . .”—Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart

10. “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”—Beatrice Hall

11. “Now that eighteen-year-olds have the right to vote, it is obvious that they must be allowed the freedom to form their political views on the basis of uncensored speech before they turn eighteen, so that their minds are not a blank when they first exercise the franchise. And since an eighteen-year-old’s right to vote is a right personal to him rather than a right to be exercised on his behalf by his parents, the right of parents to enlist the aid of the state to shield their children from ideas of which the parents disapprove cannot be plenary either. People are unlikely to become well-functioning, independent-minded adults and responsible citizens if they are raised in an intellectual bubble.”—Seventh District Judge Richard Posner

12. Here's a link to some ideas for how you can celebrate Banned Books Week.

13. Even my teeny tiny local library celebrates Banned Books Week. They have a display of banned book themed book marks, and a special table of banned books. Your library probably does too. Go check it out. You'll probably find some of your favorite books featured. It's surprising how many books are challenged and for what reasons.

All quotes are from here.

To visit the Thursday Thirteen site, go here.

Other Thursday Thirteen participants:


PraiseFiddler said...

I read a lot of Judy Blume when I was a teen. I read the book Forever when I was about 14. I don't know if that's banned or not but it certainly was an eye opener for a 14 year old girl lol.

Mercy's Maid said...

It's one of her most banned books. :) I actually haven't read that one yet.

Minkydo said...

Hey, thanks for the reminder. I always seem to forget when that is. I enjoyed the quotes as well.

nikki the red said...

i loved the perks of being a wallflower.

Happy Mama to Three said...

I have always been amazed with the fact that the one book we bought all of our three children to help them learn about their bodies and other people around them is one of those that has been consistently banned. It's #15 on the top 100 and I just can't imagine why. Thanks for reminding us that we need to be mindful of the opinions others are trying to force on us and our children


pussreboots said...

On the top 10 list I've only read "Beloved" and "The Chocolate War" and can't say I enjoyed either one. I'm also not a fan of Judy Blume.

Nonetheless, I don't believe in book banning. It's a terrible thing.

Happy TT. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the BookCrossing challenge.

Nicholas said...

I’ve never seen that Chomsky quote before, but it is so true I think #10 was originally said by Voltaire.

I love this TT because I think book banning, and censorship in general, is just evil. We should all have a horror of little groups of people meeting in private to discuss what you and I should and should not be able to read, see or listen to. They want to shape the way we think, and they must be resisted.

not "jim" said...

Never heard of "book banning", but from what I can tell, it's not necessarily banning the book, but not allowing inappropriate books to pertinent people, ie. children, kind of like movie rating system.
As with all other things, what is acceptable for the children should be determined by the parents, but I can understand schools and libraries having a policy to keep inappropriate materials out of children's hands; same as we would do with Drano or sulfuric acid, it's potentially destructive unless you properly use it. It's apparent I'm in the minority here, but not all banning/censorship is bad, and not everyone who attempts to shield you from something is evil - for example, letting your young kids run around in a busy street because you don't want to "censor" them.

Mercy's Maid said...

Book banning isn't about restricting what one's own child can read, it's about trying to restrict what EVERYONE's children (in a particular school or public library) can read. I think it's good and appropriate for a parent to have a say in what they want their own kids to read.

People get offended about anything.

For instance, I'm sure there are some people who would like to see the Bible (or Koran or whatever) banned from public school libraries.

If every book that offended someone was removed from the library, there wouldn't be much left.

Mercy's Maid said...

And it's not the school or library's policy that bans books. The majority of libraries are against banning books.

Books get banned when a person decides that some reading material is "inappropriate"--not just for their own child, but for any child that might come across it. After they put up a fuss, the library sticks the book behind the counter or gets rid of one parent has just decided what the rest of the kids in the school are allowed to read.

Nicholas said...

Exactly, Mercy's! Being offended is no reason at all to ban a book. If it offends you, then don't read it, but do not presume to say that no one else can. I am deeply offended by any book that says that children who do not respect their parents should be killed (eg The Bible) but I don't for a moment want to ban it. I find Mein Kampf and Justine repulsive, but the only banning I do is banning them from my own home.

Pamela said...

great post.

Elaine said...

ooh wow what a good TT!