Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Winner and Banned Books Week

Well, in case you missed it, I had my inaugural Name that Book post yesterday and it was a lot of fun!  Apparently, most of you thought it was too easy (and judging by the number of correct guesses, I'm assuming you were right).  So, I'll be adjusting some things to make some trickier ones in the future.  But, the winner of that first game was:

KT! (who apparently just happened to be watching my feed at the exact second I pushed publish)

Thanks everyone who played along and I hope to see you back here in two weeks for another episode! [Oops. I forgot to tell you the answers!  Book 1 was 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff and Book 2 was Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale.]

Speak: 10th Anniversary EditionNow, on to something less light-hearted.  It's officially Banned Books Week and though I don't really deal with this kind of problem in my own library, I hate to hear about it happening other places.  There's been a recent challenge to Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and a few other books recently and frankly, I'm happy that there is so much attention on the book now.  That book needs more exposure!  That was the first book written specifically for teens that I remember picking up.  It sparked my love of YA books which, if you notice the usual types of reviews around here, have become favorites of mine.  Anyway, every woman at some point in her life (and I'm not one to say when that is because it's different for everyone) should read it.  

I also wanted to do a little celebrating of banned books, since I signed up for the Banned Books Reading Challenge.  I'm currently rereading The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth Speare which is an all-time favorite for me.  I'm also hoping to read Blubber by Judy Blume and something John Green soon, though probably not this week.  

I just wanted to clarify the difference between books that are challenged and books that are banned.  A challenge is any formal (or sometimes informal) request for a book's place in a library or on a reading list to be reviewed.  Essentially, this means someone lodges a complaint against a book.  In many cases (thankfully), the books are not removed from the curriculum or library, because it is established that they have a justified place there.  When a book is removed from a library or curriculum based on a challenge, that is when a book is considered banned. Obviously, there are many more challenged books than banned ones, but both lists are much too long. Check out University of Illinois' list of challenged children's books for an example of the huge number of challenged books.

I'll admit that I'm a particularly picky reader; I won't pick up books that I think will make me uncomfortable and I've put some down that I thought weren't right for me.  But, no one (except for a parent) should decide what someone else should read.  

Celebrate your freedom to read and pick up a banned book!  What are you going to read?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. yay! I look forward to future versions of the game

  2. KT, hopefully they will be a bit harder for you to figure out :)

  3. Re challenged and banned books: what you say, Melissa, and then some!

  4. Andie, it seems like this topic could be addressed every week and we'd still have stuff to talk about!


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