Thursday, September 29, 2011

Banned Books Week 2011

With this week more than half way over, you may think it's too late to do anything for Banned Books Week. It's never too late. Pick up a book or watch a movie based on a banned book.

Earlier this week, I was in Chicago for a couple of days and discovered at the bookstore that the Harold Washington Library Center of Chicago was hosting an event called, "Books on the Chopping Block" which entailed the City Lit Theater Company reading the top 10 most frequently challenged books of 2010. What was so amazing about these ten titles is that they are all young adult and children's books. Imagine that! Why there is so much fear about allowing teens and kids to view the world as it really is through fiction is beyond me? But alas, there is fear that these books will instill the wrong ideas in to children's heads. That is a sad premise to hold onto. The one good thing about a book being challenged and/or banned is that just makes that particular book all the more appealing. I am sure the censors never see it that way.

I have many favorite books that have made it to the banned and/or challenged list. My top two favorites are by Judy Blume, "Forever" and "Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret." I cannot imagine having grown-up without having Judy Blume books in my life. Did anyone try to stop me from reading either of these books? Actually, my mother made me put "Forever" back on the shelf deeming it not appropriate reading material ever. Well that made me even more determined to read the book, so I decided to see if the library would tell me I could not check out that book as well. The very next day after school, I found the book right where I had reluctantly put it back and checked it out without a problem. I was thrilled that to discover that the library wouldn't be trying to censor what I read.

I'd love to hear what your favorite banned and/or challenged book that you have read or even a movie or play based on one.