Monday, September 26, 2011

Banned Books Week 2011
There are plenty of ways to celebrate Banned Books Week. I personally like to sit in very visible public place in my Intellectual Freedom Fighter t-shirt and a copy of "The Anarchist Cookbook," but you may have a more subtle way to show your disdain of censorship.

There is plenty you can do, libraries and bookstores all over the country host Banned Books Week events. You can watch YouTube videos of your favorite authors reading from Banned Books as well as other promotional videos.

If you're more the social networking type, you can follow Banned Books Week news and events on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr

You can check out the ALA's Ideas & Resources page to create your own Banned Books Week event or you can see what other organizations are doing to support Intellectual Freedom. There are plenty of ways to get involved and show your support.

My favorite thing on the BBW website is the map of challenges to book in libraries and schools. The map only shows the reported incidents; the ALA estimates 70-80% of challenges go unreported.

Don't be complacent about censorship. It is never acceptable in a free society for someone else to tell you what you can and cannot read the same as it is unacceptable for someone to tell you what you can and cannot think. 

"Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings." -Heinrich Heine

Top 10 Challenged Books in 2010
And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: offensive language, racism, religious viewpoint, sex education, sexually explicit, violence, unsuited to age group
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit
Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: drugs, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit
The Hunger Games (series), by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: sexually explicit, violence, unsuited to age group
Lush, by Natasha Friend
Reasons: drugs, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group
What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
Reasons: sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich
Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint
Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie
Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit
Twilight (series), by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence, unsuited to age group

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