Banned Books Week 2010
September 27, 2010 in Book Club Possibility, Elementary Educators, High School Teachers, Hopkins, Ellen, Middle Grade Novel, Picture Book, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Young Adult Novels Tags: American Library Association, And Tango Makes Three, banned books week, Challenged and Banned Books, Crank, Ellen Hopkins
Once again, it’s time for the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week. Yes, it’s sad that we even have to have a week like this each year; but at least, enough people are outraged by banning books that we have a week to recognize them. Pictured here, And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, is one of the top ten most challenged books in 2009. Why? Well, let’s see. . .it focuses on two male penguins who are given a baby penguin to raise at New York’s Central Park Zoo. And it is based on a true story. And those crazy advocates of book banning think it is promoting homosexual behavior, same-sex marriages/adoption, and get this. . .homosexuality in ANIMALS. How many of us are really sitting at home worrying about whether or not male dogs or female gorillas are bonding in the wild? I guess there are some people who do this–obviously.
And this is why I love Banned Books Week because it shows us, the normal readers, how people can take a simple and beautiful TRUE story, like And Tango Makes Three, and turn it into something controversial and challenged. It’s crazy. The craziest thing–when are these book banners going to realize that by banning these books, they actually become MORE POPULAR? How many of you had heard of And Tango Makes Three before I talked about it today? How many of you now want to read it? (I am waving my hand in the air.)
Other top ten challenged books in 2009 are: ttly (the whole series), To Kill a Mockingbird, Twilight (series), The Chocolate War, and more. To check out everything about Banned Books Week, go to the ALA website here.
My cyber author friend, Ellen Hopkins (author of The Crank series shown above), has to face book banning all the time. Parents are constantly challenging her books, and schools are constantly taking the books off the shelves. It is even happening where she lives. Lately, she’s been talking a lot about it on Twitter and Facebook. One of the comments someone left on her Facebook page was that she is a huge fan of Hopkins’s books, but that she agreed they weren’t appropriate for middle schoolers. I left a comment after that one, stating nicely that middle schoolers know A LOT about sex and drugs NOW, and that books like Ellen’s can only help them. Hopkins is not saying–let’s all go out and get addicted to crystal meth. In her Crank series, she realistically shows how a “good girl” can get hooked, and how it can ruin her life. We need to face facts–some kids are taking drugs in middle school. If reading Crank can stop even one middle school kid from taking drugs, then it needs to be ON THE SHELF! Someone else left the comment that as a parent, she wanted the choice of whether or not her child read the book–she wanted them available to all kids, and then parents can be the ones to decide for their own children. AMEN!
What’s your stand on banned books? If you are a teacher, do you talk about these books/teach any of these books in your classroom? If you are an author, have your books ever been challenged?
BTW, there’s still time to enter the Mockingjay book giveaway today (September 27) until 8:00 p.m. CST tonight! Go here: Mockingjay Book Giveaway.