Ban This!

Warning:  I am going to step up on my soap box for a minute. My number one pet peeve in the book world is censorship.  I cannot stand it when I see it happening.  It both infuriates me and breaks my heart.  Everyone should have the right to choose what they want to read.  Censorship is unfair to the authors who write the books and the readers who will not get to read it because of the censors.  If you are not sure about your child reading a book, don’t tell them no just based on reviews you have read.  Read the book yourself, educate yourself on the content, then make an informed choice on the book, for your child, not an entire population.  I don’t mean don’t ever let the child read the book, let them read it when they are mature enough to handle the content.  They will be there at some point, there should not be a book that is off limits f-o-r-e-v-e-r.  Plus, by saying that, you are just making them want to read it more.   Some books do have tough issues in them, but look at our world today, it is not exactly sunshine and lollipops out there right now.  I think authors are just trying to read their audience, and today’s audience has a lot of hardships in their lives. Books can be a safe place for them to relate to the characters because the person they are reading about will not judge them and is dealing with some of the same issues.   I think books can be a great outlet and source of help to teens and adults today.  So please, please, please, do not be a censor!  Educate yourself on the books that may be “controversial”  before you decide to make decisions about their appropriateness.  Some of the greatest books have been put on “banned” lists, which to me is just sad because that means somewhere there are people that are missing out on reading an awesome book.  Okay, I am going to stop because I could keep going, but I think you know what my opinion is now.  Just had to say my piece about this topic.

Now, onto the challenge.  I am super excited about this challenge because I love, love, love, banned book week!  What is banned book week?  Well here is a quote from the American Library Association (ALA) website describing it a little more.

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

If you want to read more, here is a link to the ALA site to check it out.  So what is the challenge about?  Well, it is hosted over at Steph Su Reads and she is encouraging us to set goals and participate in this challenge any way we can.  I personally am going to try and read at least 3 books I have not read before that make the frequently challenged book list.  Here are the three I plan to read:

1.  Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause

2.  The Silver Kiss Annette Curtis Klause

3.  The House of the Scorpion Nancy Farmer

I picked these three because I have heard amazing things about them and I think they fit in with the books I normally read and review on this blog.   My favorite book of all time, that makes an appearance almost every year on the banned book list is:  The Giver by Lois Lowry.  After I read that book, I changed, it made me look at things differently and I will always love it because of that.

So that is my goal for this challenge, read and review those books.  If I get a chance I will read more, but that is it for now.  I encourage you to go check out the ALA website and Steph Su Reads blog and educate yourself about banned books and participate in this awesome challenge if you can.

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