Banned Books Week – Support a Challenged or Banned Author & Giveaway!

25 Sep

Today marks the beginning of banned books week, which runs until October 2nd. Lately, challenged books have been talked about all over the blogosphere and twittersphere – especially concerning YA titles. From Laurie Halse Anderson’s SPEAK being deemed pornographic, to Sarah Ockler’s TWENTY BOY SUMMER and Sherman Alexie’s THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN, there’s no doubt about it: we’ve seen quite a bit of censorship going on. (Heck, even the Merriam-Webster Dictionary has been banned from a school this year – no lie!). 

In this day and age, you’d think we would all be a little more open; you’d think that we would all respect the right for people to choose what they want to read. You’d think people claiming rape to be pornographic wouldn’t be taken seriously (I mean, really? That’s horrifying). It’s bad enough that there are issues of white washing on covers – now we’re going to try to censor books with minority protagonists? We’re going to ban books because it contains homosexuality? Because they look at the human condition and point out our flaws, our shortcomings, our problems?

The reasons people choose to challenge (and try to ban) books is numerous. And here at LTWF, we believe that books being banned is equivalent to them being burned. We should be able to freely choose the books we want to read, and the books we want our children to read. To ban a book is to take away the choice from someone else –someone who has the right to choose.

So if you agree with us, we’re asking that you join us in supporting banned books and their authors by purchasing (or by borrowing from your library to tote around in public) a banned or challenged book. And if you can, we’d love it if you could also show your support by sending us a picture of yourself with a banned book you have chosen – and next Saturday, we’ll post your pictures on the blog. We want to visually show our support for banned and challenged books – so please, go out and buy a book (or even if you already own it – chances are you do!), and take a picture. Own more than one banned book? Take a picture of yourself with all of them!

And If you’re on Twitter, join the #SpeakLoudly movement.

So just to help you out (for those who aren’t as aware of what books have been banned), here is a list of the Ten Most Challenged Books from 2009 according to the ALA:

1. “TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs
2. “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality
3. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide
4. “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee
Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
6. “Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
7. “My Sister’s Keeper,” by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence
8. “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things,” by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
9. “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
10. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

(also check out the 200820072006, and 2005 lists and decade lists for the ’90s and ’00s)

The most frequently challenged authors of 2009:

Lauren Myracle, Alex Sanchez, P.C. Cast, Robert Cormier, Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, Stephen Chbosky, Chris Crutcher, Ellen Hopkins, Richelle Mead, John Steinbeck

And if that wasn’t frightening enough, take a look at the most frequently challenged authors of the 21st Century.

And want to know some of the more recently challenged books? Here is a list of all the challenged and banned books of 2009-2010.

So, tell everyone you know; help make others aware. Those of us against banning books can speak our minds just as loudly as those who are for it. We will not be silenced – we will Speak Loudly. So stand up, be proud, and tell people why book banning is just plain ridiculous.

~ The LTWF Team

~~~

GIVEAWAY

~~~

As we said in the article above, we are asking our readers to take a picture with their favorite banned book(s) and send it to us (letthewordsflowblog AT gmail DOT com). We will post your pictures (and our own) next Saturday, and choose one lucky reader who sent us a picture to receive a giveaway prize!

We are giving away this bracelet from Carolyn Forsman. OR, if you don’t want it/don’t wear jewelry, we will ship you one banned book of your choice!

Advertisements

32 Responses to “Banned Books Week – Support a Challenged or Banned Author & Giveaway!”

  1. samanthabina September 25, 2010 at 1:22 AM #

    I see GO ASK ALICE in that bracelet, which I LOVED when I was a kid.

    Sorry. I got excited :-p

    • svonnah September 25, 2010 at 11:32 AM #

      I actually have that bracelet, and the Go Ask Alice section inspired the title for my novel Go Look There… my bracelet pictures are slightly blurry, and for months I thought ‘Go Ask Alice’ was actually ‘Go Look There.’ I was thrilled when I found out it wasn’t, because I loved that title, and I wanted to use it.

  2. Angela September 25, 2010 at 6:49 AM #

    I don`t want to be overly critical or anything, but banning a dictionary is the stupidest banned book story I`ve heard so far. Yes, even more foolish than the time people were burning Harry Potter books because it promoted magic and whatnot, which is pointless cause magic isn`t real.

    I`m looking forward to sending my picture. I have the perfect banned book in mind.

    • svonnah September 25, 2010 at 11:33 AM #

      Great, can’t wait to get it!

  3. tymcon September 25, 2010 at 7:12 AM #

    Haha! Good ‘ol Ireland. A couple of years ago the third (maybe fifth) years had to read To kill A mockingbird for there exam. Philip pullman? J.K. Rowling?
    Philip pullman for his religious views, J.K. Rowling for her slight hints towards vodoo (heaviest in 4th book), are you kidding me. I don’t like twilight, but it’s hardly goign to convert peopl eto Stephanie meyers religion. Yeah it does actually have a lot of things in her religion. I read a good article, but for the life of me I can’t remember wat it was called, outlining how she wrote her book based aroudn her religion. Wich is awesome:P
    Wow I have no idea where I was gogn with that. But it’s ridicolous.

    • svonnah September 25, 2010 at 11:33 AM #

      Yeah, Stephenie Meyer put a bit of Mormon philosophy in there, but on the whole I don’t think it was a ‘Mormon’ book.

      • Nicole September 25, 2010 at 5:27 PM #

        It is weird that Meyers is getting criticized for that but other authors such as Orson Scott Card do not.

      • tymcon September 26, 2010 at 6:30 AM #

        quick question. Can you take a picture of yourself with any banned book on the past list, or jsut the ones mentioned there?

        • Kat Zhang September 26, 2010 at 7:56 AM #

          Any banned book is fine 🙂 It doesn’t even have to be on the list, as I think those books are for the US. If different books have been banned in Ireland, go ahead and take a picture with one of those!

  4. Heather September 25, 2010 at 8:50 AM #

    Book banning is ridiculous. SPEAK has the potential to encourage rape victims to break their own silences, and for that reason it should never ever be banned.
    I was surprised by how many books on those lists are favourites of mine. UNWIND by Neal Shusterman is amazing. I don’t look so hot today (I’m incredibly vain :P) but I’ll definitely take a photo tomorrow, if I can fit all the books into one shot 🙂

    • svonnah September 25, 2010 at 11:31 AM #

      Awesome, we look forward to getting your photo! I have a stack of books I need to get a shot with myself…

  5. Aurora Blackguard September 25, 2010 at 10:44 AM #

    It’s funny how some of those books are supposed to be some of the most important milestones in contemporary English literature and they’re BANNED.

    And really, MY SISTER’S KEEPER??? That was brilliant and amazing and deeper than most books. I have to agree with Angela though:

    A DICTIONARY??? A FRIGGIN DICTIONARY? SERIOUSLY???

    • svonnah September 25, 2010 at 11:31 AM #

      When I was in school we had children’s dictionaries, which were sterilized of any questionable content… I don’t understand why they would ban the adult dictionary, instead of just switching it out for kid’s dictionaries.

      • Aurora Blackguard September 26, 2010 at 3:58 AM #

        Though I think that maybe shielding kids way too much is going to be more unhealthy for them. Better they learn it from the dictionary and as their moms/dads – oh gosh, sorry, I just remembered; collectively, they’re known as PARENTS – and learn that it’s BAD than to completely shield them and let them learn on their own – worse!

        well. In my school anyway. My government is still trying to decide if teachers should teach us about sex education.

  6. Marina September 25, 2010 at 11:41 AM #

    Oh, my Jebus. I can’t believe some of the titles on this list. To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher In the Rye? I thought those were considered classics!
    And Twilight as being sexual explicit? What a joke. Sexual tension sure. Bad writting and grammar? Check.
    Wow, this is beyond ridiculous.
    *runs off to get them*
    VIVA LA BANNED BOOKS!!

    • Biljana September 25, 2010 at 4:07 PM #

      Bad ‘writting’? Was that on purpose? 😉

      But I agree, it’s absolutely RIDUCLOUS. It’s just people that don’t like to read about truth, and would rather live in their own little bubble of fake.

  7. Joana September 25, 2010 at 12:39 PM #

    I’m gonna have to head to the library if I want to get a picture. I’ve read so many of those but I don’t seem to have any! (besides my Harry Potter books, which are packed away at home) I have so many books centering around gay kids that I thought one of them would’ve been banned or challenged, but I guess a story about a kid who skips prom night with a drug dealer isn’t as offensive as a dictionary that tells you the meaning of the word ‘intercourse.’ 😛

    • Joana September 25, 2010 at 12:42 PM #

      Also, I may just be having a brain fart here, but what part of My Sister’s Keeper involved homosexuality? I read it when I was, I dunno, probably fifteen so it’s been five years and my memory is horrible.

      • svonnah September 25, 2010 at 2:59 PM #

        That was my first thought!

  8. Ella September 25, 2010 at 4:31 PM #

    Ugggh. I’ve never read Speak, but just the idea of citing rape as pornography makes me sick to my stomach. And some of the other books on there…To Kill a Mockingbird? I read and loved it when I was twelve or thirteen. The Color Purple? Catcher in the Rye? What the hell. I mean, God forbid the world acknowledge incest and sexual abuse – we’ve got to protect our children from the /countless other kids their age/ who are going through it every day and attempting to make their voices heard.

    It also really pisses me off that this guy is using Christianity as an excuse to push along his own self-righteous agenda. What, Christians can’t educate themselves? Empathize? Reach out to people who are in pain through any means, including literature? That’s the whole point of the religion. Things like this sicken me.

    • Vanessa September 27, 2010 at 8:17 AM #

      I lot of Christians have been speaking out, saying that SPEAK is by no means pornographic – and how powerful and important a novel it is. And they’re all very upset that he is using religion as an excuse. So there are a lot of Christians saying that rape is not the sin of the victim.

      I was beyond furious when I read his article. I read SPEAK when I was… 14, perhaps? And it’s stuck with me every since as being incredibly powerful.

  9. nlmars September 26, 2010 at 8:21 AM #

    Hm, I remember as a kid looking up naughty words in the dictionary, and giggling over it with my friends, but I wouldn’t say that that was a bad thing. If anything, it actually taught me when my (christian) school refused to do so.
    I don’t see why parents want something banned if it actually teaches kids about life. Do they want to keep their kids protected and innocent for their entire lives? It’s horrible, I think. It’s best to teach kids about important issues, such as sex and sexual orientation and individuality at a young age, and help them explore that. It just seems obvious, I think.

    • Vanessa September 29, 2010 at 2:43 PM #

      An innocent kid will only end up growing into a naive and clueless adult. I think it hinders growth, and social skills, and like you said) sexual orientation and individuality.

      I know everyone wants their kids to be innocent, but once you’ve placed them out into the world (ie. school), they’re going to start learning and exploring – and there really isn’t that much you can do but make sure they know what is right and what is wrong, and trust in them to make the right decisions. And if they DO make the wrong decision, you make sure they learn from their mistakes.

  10. Annemarie September 26, 2010 at 5:36 PM #

    Wow I find that the banning of some of those books humerous since my school makes us study John Steinbeck, “Perks of Being A Wallflower”, “The Color Purple”, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, and ” Catcher in the Rye”. The other books are incredibly popular and half the population as read them or they express our world.

  11. Cassie September 27, 2010 at 3:34 PM #

    I just want to point out how great I feel that I was able to go to a high school that allowed us to read: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, The Things They Carried, The Great Gatsby, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, and My Sister’s Keeper. These books now have a very special spot on my bookshelf, and you can bet your ass that I’m going to read every other banned book I can find!

  12. Joan September 27, 2010 at 6:15 PM #

    Great contest! Banned books deserve lots of love and recognition! *hauls down a whole shelf*

  13. Theresa Milstein September 28, 2010 at 6:26 PM #

    It appears that book banning is as big as ever. I have to remember to take a picture so I can enter the contest. Those are cool bracelets!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Right to Read « Let The Words Flow - September 27, 2010

    […] 27 Sep Saturday marked the beginning of Banned Book Week. Here at LTWF we’re dedicating the whole week to awareness about banned books. We’ve got a lineup of fantastic articles, culminating in our announcement of our banned books-inspired book of the month for October on Friday. This coming Saturday we will post pictures of ourselves with our favorite banned books, and pictures that our readers send us. One lucky reader will even get a giveaway prize! […]

  2. Banning Backfires « Let The Words Flow - September 29, 2010

    […] 29 Sep Saturday marked the beginning of Banned Book Week. Here at LTWF we’re dedicating the whole week to awareness about banned books. We’ve got a lineup of fantastic articles, culminating in our announcement of our banned books-inspired book of the month for October on Friday. This coming Saturday we will post pictures of ourselves with our favorite banned books, and pictures that our readers send us. One lucky reader will even get a giveaway prize! […]

  3. Banned Books, Metaphors, and Cultural Identity « Let The Words Flow - September 29, 2010

    […] 28 Sep Saturday marked the beginning of Banned Book Week. Here at LTWF we’re dedicating the whole week to awareness about banned books. We’ve got a lineup of fantastic articles, culminating in our announcement of our banned books-inspired book of the month for October on Friday. This coming Saturday we will post pictures of ourselves with our favorite banned books, and pictures that our readers send us. One lucky reader will even get a giveaway prize! […]

  4. QOTW: Favorite Banned Book « Let The Words Flow - September 30, 2010

    […] Saturday marked the beginning of Banned Book Week. Here at LTWF we’re dedicating the whole week to awareness about banned books. We’ve got a lineup of fantastic articles, culminating in our announcement of our banned books-inspired book of the month for October on Friday. This coming Saturday we will post pictures of ourselves with our favorite banned books, and pictures that our readers send us. One lucky reader will even get a giveaway prize! […]

  5. Banned Books and You « Let The Words Flow - October 2, 2010

    […] Oct To wrap up Banned Books Week, last Saturday we invited our readers to post pictures of themseles with their favorite Banned Book(s), and we agreed to do the […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: