Friday, October 02, 2009
Whoops! It's Banned Books Week!
I almost let it get away from me this year, but thanks to reading a blog post, I was reminded about it.
ALA Banned Books Week is Sept. 26 - Oct. 3 2009
Even though my reading has really slowed down lately, I did read a book from this frequently challenged list.
Ever read Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene? Somehow I missed out on it in childhood, but when I came across it in adulthood and realized it's set in Arkansas and it's a frequently challenged book, I decided to give it a try. I really enjoyed it!
It's about a young girl who lives with parents who are neglectful at best and abusive at worst.
Nazi prisoners of war are sent to her small town in Arkansas to work at a prison camp and she's intrigued by one of them when he comes into her father's store to buy some straw hats to protect the prisoners from the Arkansas sun. This prisoner speaks English, so they are able to communicate and she finds that he's not this evil guy that everyone has made him out to be. He just went along with the regime because he would be killed if he didn't. Anyway, along the way, this "evil" guy is the only person who ever tells her that she's a person of value, and that sticks with her.
I wonder how many people out there are waiting for someone to tell them that they're a person of value and that all of the crap they've been told about themselves all of their lives has been false? It was thought-provoking for me.
The book is sad and it's full of irony and lots of good lessons. It was probably challenged/banned because it is set in a time when there was racial segregation and some of the language depicts racial slurs and religious discrimination -- but the book does not encourage that kind of behavior, it's just true to the setting.
That is my banned/challenged book recommendation for this year. :)
What is your favorite banned or challenged book?