September 25th through October 2nd is the 29th Annual Celebration of the Freedom to Read Books. You can find the complete list of books that have been banned or challenged for 2009-2010 here. I have to admit that this one area that I have mixed feelings about, I am in support of the rights of authors to write whatever they want, they shouldn’t be censored in their content or their style. That being said, I also think that there are age appropriate books and some content is not appropriate for younger readers. I like to think I take more of a middle ground on the issue, I don’t think Harry Potter or The Twilight Series focus too much on the occult and shouldn’t be allowed in public education libraries but having read books like Push, not everything should be allowed in the libraries. Okay, now you know my opinion what do you think?
Despite my mixed feelings about Banned Books, I enjoyed looking through the lists and decided to post some of my favorite banned books from 2009-2010:
House of Night Series by P.C. and Kristin Cast.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Lee Harper.
Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead.
Mirriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Really people?! Some parent was upset because their child looked up a definition, if they don’t look it up in a dictionary where else will they get their information, obviously you aren’t telling them what all the words mean.)
ttyl by Lauren Myracle.
Only in Your Dreams: A Gossip Girl Novel by Cicely Von Ziegesar.
Since I didn’t participate last year I thought I would include some good books from 2008-2009:
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James and Christopher Collier.
To Kill A Mockingbird (again).
Wicked by Gregory Maguie.
Twilight Series (again).
The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
More information about the banned books and banned book week can be found at:
My goal is to read at least one of the books from this list in the next month and I challenge you to do so the same. I will be reading a book from the PC and Kristin Cast House of Night Series (I have to confess it is already in my TBR pile). What are you going to read?
Since I prepared this post, there has been a lot of talk about an article that was written by Wesley Scroggins about several novels he felt were inappropriate for young readers and should not be included in the school curriculum. While I don’t agree with his sentiments, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, you can read the article that has caused so much furor here.
The novel that has everyone so upset is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, having both read the book and watched the movie (which stars Kristen Stewart, who did a fabulous job and shows she can act), I felt like the novel tactfully but truthfully handled a tough subject like rape and the emotional repercussions. I originally read the book for my adolescent literature class while working my bachelor’s degree and was so impressed with it that I had my two younger sisters who were still in high school read it. Then we all got together and watched the movie together. I have to admit I am a fairly conservative individual, I don’t agree that adolescents should have access to everything because sometime things need to be discussed to either put them into perspective or make sure any questions are answered. That being said, I do feel like it was a novel that was appropriately done and had my sisters read and watch it so they could understand how not speaking up about rape can negatively impact the individual who has been raped and completely change them. I felt my sisters needed be prepared in case they ever found themselves in that same situation or in case they noticed one of their friends changing and could be prepared to help them.
Before you make a judgment on this issue I strongly advise you to read the book so you can form your own opinion. The description from the publisher:
Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.
If you are interested to see what others have to say about this book and the article or to be entered to win a copy of Speak check out these other sites: