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Sunday, September 23, 2018

#BannedBookWeek2018


Hello Readers!!!!

This week starts one of my favorite, yet oh so controversial, weeks of the year... It's Banned Book Week! And why do I love this week so much? Simple, I love discussing, arguing, and debating people about why certain books should be banned. Spoiler alert, I don't think ANY book should be banned. I may not love every genre, I may not love every author, but I am HERE for the discussion around them. Let's also add this to the mix, we live in a ridiculously diversified world. There are so many stories out there not being told on a daily basis that when someone finally does tell a different story, people freak the fuck out. (Not even sorry for the language today.) 

Some of the top banned books this year have been requested to be, and actually removed from, classrooms, school libraries, public libraries, bookstores, YES they are coming for our capitalistic nature as a society because a book is THAT terrifying, groups have even requested books be removed from private homes and destroyed. 

I'm going to say this loudly and clearly, 

NO STORY IS WORTHY OF BEING DESTROYED!

No one is going to love and support everything that's out there, but none of these books deserves to be lit aflame or destroyed. 

The American Library Association (ALA) has comprised a list each year for the top most requested banned books. This year that list includes: 

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why written by Jay Asher
    Originally published in 2007, this New York Times bestseller has resurfaced as a controversial book after Netflix aired a TV series by the same name. This YA novel was challenged and banned in multiple school districts because it discusses suicide.
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian written by Sherman Alexie
    Consistently challenged since its publication in 2007 for acknowledging issues such as poverty, alcoholism, and sexuality, this National Book Award winner was challenged in school curriculums because of profanity and situations that were deemed sexually explicit.
  3. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    This Stonewall Honor Award-winning, 2012 graphic novel from an acclaimed cartoonist was challenged and banned in school libraries because it includes LGBT characters and was considered “confusing.”
  4. The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini
    This critically acclaimed, multigenerational novel was challenged and banned because it includes sexual violence and was thought to “lead to terrorism” and “promote Islam.”
  5. George written by Alex Gino
    Written for elementary-age children, this Lambda Literary Award winner was challenged and banned because it includes a transgender child.
  6. Sex is a Funny Word written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth
    This 2015 informational children’s book written by a certified sex educator was challenged because it addresses sex educationand is believed to lead children to “want to have sex or ask questions about sex.”
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
    This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, considered an American classic, was challenged and banned because of violence and its use of the N-word.
  8. The Hate U Give written by Angie Thomas
    Despite winning multiple awards and being the most searched-for book on Goodreads during its debut year, this YA novel was challenged and banned in school libraries and curriculums because it was considered “pervasively vulgar” and because of drug useprofanity, and offensive language. (Police officers have also requested this book be removed from libraries due to the nature of the plot.)
  9. And Tango Makes Three written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole
    Returning after a brief hiatus from the Top Ten Most Challenged list, this ALA Notable Children’s Book, published in 2005, was challenged and labeled because it features a same-sex relationship.
  10. I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    This autobiographical picture book co-written by the 13-year-old protagonist was challenged because it addresses gender identity.
Banning books, telling people what they can and cannot read, eliminates choice. It is a huge detriment to intelligence and education, and it implies that people cannot be held responsible for their own actions. As a kid growing up books had to be vetted for me, I had an over active imagination and some serious night terrors, but my parents didn't ban books; they either had to read them first or told me to wait if they didn't think I was ready. Eventually I was such a voracious reader they just let me use my own judgement. The books I read growing up, the ideas, values, stories, and experiences I was exposed to have helped to shape and mold me into the adult and reader I am today. I can't find a single reason to ban a book that doesn't have negative consequences or implications. 

Every story deserves to be out there, even the ones we don't agree with. 

Until next time readers, 

XoXo
BrainyHeroine