|Save this lonely, banned book by reading it! |
Banned Book Week Image by Charlie Corrigan
My mom wasn't too strict about books, as long as she didn't see any words like SEX or pictures of half-naked people on the cover she was fine. With the help of book covers it was easy to sneak certain books in the house.
She was trying to protect me from bad influences, but I don't regret reading those forbidden books. I suppose banning influential books would be more crucial for parents who want their kids to grow up with a specific mind-set, such as a religious one.
To be honest, I've been aware of famously banned books like 1984, but I didn't know there was a Banned Books Week until earlier this year. ;) Even trashy novels can act as gateways to literacy, but some parents challenge books because they want to protect their kids from the uglier sides of the world as well as bad influences.
Some terms I've been seeing have been "challenged books" and "banned books," so I did some research to find out the difference.
When someone challenges a particular book, they're trying to get it banned by sending out a request to a library or school to pull the book from their shelves. Even if the challenge fails to go through, it still means that someone tried to keep others from reading that book.
Some people might choose to not read books that have been frequently challenged in order to avoid offending people or getting in trouble, and this ends up being a form of voluntary censorship as a result of the book's challenged status.
The reasons for challenging a book include sexual content, profanity, homosexuality, religious viewpoints, political viewpoints, and violence. But anyone can challenge a book for any reason.
Banned books are those that have been successfully prohibited from touching the shelves of a particular library, or student's reading list at schools. Some examples of banned books of 2012 were Captain Underpants (Gross and funny, but I know many friends who learned to read through this series) and Fifty Shades of Grey.
My Banned Books Week Reading List:
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi - This autobiographical graphic novel about the author/artist growing up in Iran during the Iranian Revolution was banned from all Chicago public schools. Middle school students who were studying the book in class protested by checking out copies of it from the libraries, speaking out through social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, and participating in read-ins.
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - This novel is about falling in love for the first time between two teenagers in Nebraska who experience bullying, abuse, and family drama. The Parents Action League convinced the Anoka-Hennepin school district to cancel Rowell's visiting event at a school, and have demanded that her books be pulled off the shelves. As if banning the book weren't enough, the Parents Action League wanted the librarians who'd organized the visiting event to be punished.________________________________Thanks so much for reading. What are you doing to celebrate Banned Books Week? Let me know in the comments!