Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How Are You Celebrating The Freedom To Read -- also known as Banned Books Week ?

The official Banned Books Week site is here, and it's packed with great stuff.

Another way I'm honoring the week is by checking out the hashtag #bannedbooksweek on social media, and so much great stuff comes up, like:


Katey Howes ‏@Kateywrites
Every story matters. Fight censorship. Celebrate fREADom. #BannedBooksWeek

 fREADom is really clever - thanks, Katey!

 And this Time Magazine article by Sarah Begley, What the List of Most Banned Books Says About Our Society’s Fears which includes these lines about the shift from banning bad language and sex to banning diversity:
The ALA’s list of the 10 most challenged books in 2015 bears this out: it includes I Am Jazz and Beyond Magenta, about young transgender people; Fun Home and Two Boys Kissing, which deal with homosexuality; Habibi and Nasreen’s Secret School, which feature Muslim characters; and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon, which was cited for “atheism.” In contrast, the top 10 most-challenged books of 2001 were more straightforwardly banned for strong language, sexual content and drugs, like The Chocolate War and Go Ask Alice.

The shift seems to be linked to demographic changes in the country—and the political fear-mongering that can accompany those changes, LaRue says. “There’s a sense that a previous majority of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants are kind of moving into a minority, and there’s this lashing out to say, ‘Can we just please make things the way that they used to be?’” LaRue says. “We don’t get many challenges by diverse people,” he adds.
It's an observation echoed in Maggie Jacoby's article Why Diverse Books Are Commonly Banned.

How will you celebrate your freedom to read this week?

Illustrate and Write On!

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