Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sex in a Library, A Challenge

I swear on all that is holy that MySpace blogs are long overdue for a "Literature" category.

Okay, kids, you have one month (and one day, to be precise) until National Banned Book Week, as designated by the American Library Association.

You can read all about it over there, but the purpose of Banned Book Week is to bring awareness to challenges to books in school libraries and curriculum.

Censorship is not an effective way to "protect" children.

I've directed your attention to Banned Book Week before but this year, I'd be positively tickled if you would all look at this map. It's a graphic of books that have been challenged in schools since 2007, and those are only the reported cases of attempts to have books banned.

Most go unreported.

I know, I sound dramatic. Get over it.

I challenge you: in this month leading up to Banned Book Week (to be clear, this takes place September 26-October 3), choose a book on the above-linked map to read. Write a blog about the book, how you liked it, why you think it was challenged and if you would want your kids to read it. Publish your blog during Banned Book Week and I'll post a link to your blog.

Naturally, I'll remind you about this and, if you participate, ask you to change your avatar on 9/26 in recognition of Banned Book Week:

I will give you extra credit if you get it on in a library in the next month, we'll have to set up some kind of non-incriminating code so you can report about it in your blog. I'm open to suggestions for this. :-)

P.S. If none of the books on the map strike your fancy, choose from this list of the top 100 challenged classics of the 20th century.

P.P.S. I have chosen Ernest Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying, challenged for its sexual content and profanity.

Because the thing below isn't working, I'm currently reading Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner.

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