Banned Books Week! + #GIVEAWAY

Friday, September 26, 2014

So this week, as you probably know, is Banned Books week. As an advocate for literacy and literature in general, this is a week that is very near and dear to my heart. I've attended and worked at schools that employ all sorts of censorship rules. I've been at schools where teachers had to stop reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to their fifth grade class and take out The Hunger Games out of their seventh grade classroom library. I will say that most of these are because of parental complaints, but even still, you can go even further and talk about the new editions of Huckleberry Finn and the censoring of the N-word.

Why can't we teach our children how to think instead of what to think? Why can't we teach them to decide for themselves whether they agree with something or not? Why do we instead think that limiting their access to works that may alter the way they think is more preemptive instead of teaching them to decide for themselves?


My answer: I think those who condone censoring and banning books live in fear. They live in fear that people will think for themselves and act upon their way of thinking, however different from the general populace's opinion. Whether they like it or not, words make a profound statement and can change lives. It won't matter if it's banned, burned, or rejected, those words will continue to make people think and live differently, apart from the ignorance of our society.

On a lighter note, I have a giveaway for you guys!

First, this is US only because I'm a broke grad student. Second, make sure to read our giveaway policy.

I am giving away two books. One of which is on the banned books list: The Giver by Lois Lowry. I am also giving away Matched by Ally Condie. I decided on this last book because I think it's a great representation of censorship even though it hasn't been challenged. 

I may or may not also send out some really cool miscellaneous swag too, so you should enter and tell your friends! 

7 comments:

  1. To be honest, I'm getting a little worked up about the censorship debate this week. I am going to write a blog post about it actually. In a nutshell, I do believe books should be open to the public, but at the same time, I can't fault parents for being concerned about what their kids are reading. We monitor the movies they see, the video games they play, and the music they listen to, so it sort of makes sense that parents would want to monitor the books they read as well. I think it's just much harder to do so any mention of a taboo topic and parents put it as "off limits" rather than taking the time to read the book - which fairly stated, would take a lot of time. I see both sides of the arguments, but I do wish more slack was given to parents fighting for the right to moderate what their child reads. It's their right as parents in a way and as someone who has been raised in a very conservative background, I get where they're coming from.

    Thank you for the giveaway! Hope my comments here make sense. =/

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    1. I agree with you! I think parents have a right to decide what they want or don't want their kids to read, but I don't immediately think they should completely ban the book for their children. Instead, I think they should read them together and discuss the issues. I think reading with your kids actually does a lot of good, not only for the parent but for the child as well.

      I was reading an interview somewhere with an author (who I can't remember the name of) the author said that there were some books that she did not want her kids to read, but when they became of age, she had a rule. If they wanted to read those books, they would have to buy them or obtain them by their own means. All the other books that they read, she would by for them just as long as she approved of them. I think that's a good reasoning. The children know what to expect and so do the parents.

      Thank you for your comment, Sierra!! :)

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    2. I agree as well, but more so with Amanda. Also, I wanted to point out that there is a difference between a parent banning something and larger administrative organizations (ie. Schools, government ect.) banning things.

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    3. Definitely, Briana! But you will notice that a lot of the books are challenged because of parental complaints, then that begets larger administrative bans. But I totally agree with you. There is a big difference. Thanks for your comment!

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  2. They censored the N-word in Huckleberry Finn? Geez... way to miss out on a teachable moment. Maybe kids wouldn't be so flippant about using that word now if they understood the cultural and historical significance of it. It'll be harder to make them understand if it's erased from books from that era!

    The school district where I went to school for the last seven years of my education famously tried to ban three picture books because they didn't want children learning about different kinds of families. Over a million taxpayer dollars later, the judge ruled that "tolerance is always age-appropriate". Well, duh.

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    1. Yeah, Huckleberry Finn happened about six-ish years ago I think. I mean I personally, do not condone using the N-word, but it totally defeats the purpose of the book without it and represents a less historical version of the time period. So I don't like that.

      Yeah, I know about the picture books ban. In my opinion, that is actually a great way for children to learn, so that's extremely frustrating.

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  3. I think censorship is frustrating because free speech people!

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