Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Happy Banned Books Week!

It's that time of year again!  I love Banned Books Week and celebrate every year by reading one of the top 10 challenged books from the previous year.  This year Banned Books Week is September 25 through October 1 -- this week.

It amazes me that in as enlightened and educated a country as we claim to have, we still routinely have books challenged and/or banned.  I don't believe in censorship, even with children.  If your child wants to read a book, and you say no, they're just going to read it behind your back.  (Trust me -- I'm a nanny, a babysitter, and a former after school program teacher -- I've seen it plenty.)  Much better to read it with your child and discuss what makes it controversial.

The list of the top 10 challenged books from 2015 surprised me a bit.  One, it surprised me that the Bible is included on this list, but also that the list of books is otherwise so heavily and exclusively focused on homosexual and trans topics.  Even the Bible is evidently listed because of concerns about how it deals with the subject of homosexuality.  I guess the list is a powerful statement about current controversies and fears in our society, just like the Time article claims.

It's also like a list of all the movements I believe in most.  I am a feminist first and foremost, but in my opinion believing in equality means believing in it for all people, so I also support LGBT equality and equality for minorities (i.e., Black Lives Matter).  So I'm especially tickled by the list of top challenged books this year.

I'm planning to celebrate Banned Books Week this year by reading Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan.  I read Every Day by David Levithan a couple years ago and loved it, so I'm really looking forward to this one.  First, though, I need to finish rereading Jane Eyre!

How are you celebrating Banned Books Week?  What are you reading this week, and is it a challenged or banned book?

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