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Friday, September 23, 2016

Banned Bookathon 2016!

Defend the First Amendment


Greetings fellow Book Dragons!

I'm excited to announce that in support of Banned Books Week (September 25 to October 1), I will be participating in the Banned Bookathon hosted by Little Book Owl and would love for you to join in!  During this week, pick up a frequently banned or challenged book or two and read that during the week.  I will have discussion prompts and some challenges that you can participate in as well, so follow my blog to participate!  As a librarian, this is a week very near and dear to my heart, and I hope that you can join me in celebrating this extraordinary event!

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read, highlighting the value of free and open access to information.  This week brings the entire book community together in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those that some consider unorthodox or unpopular.  And by focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, this week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, libraries, and bookstores.  Each year the American Library Association (ALA) compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted voluntarily by librarians and teachers across the country.  According to the ALA, there have been more than 11,300 books challenged since 1982, which by their own estimations does not include the more than 70% of books that are never reported!

The top ten books challenged in 2015 included:


1.  Looking for Alaska by John Green
Reason:  Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group



2.  Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Reason:  sexually explicit, unsutied to age group, other ("poorly written")



3.  I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Reason:  Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group



Reason:  Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, other ("remove from collection to ward off complaints")




Reason:  Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, other ("profanity and atheism")




Reason:  Religious viewpoint



7.  Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Reason:  Violence, other ("graphic images")



8.  Habibi by Craig Thompson
Reason:  Nudity, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group




Reason:  Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, violence




10.  Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Reason:  Homosexuality, other ("condones public displays of affection")




You can check out the top ten lists from previous years here as well as frequently challenged classics, children's books, young adult books, and books featuring diverse content.

So start putting together your TBR and join us on Sunday, September 25 to begin reading and celebrating banned books!  I'll be reading Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and because I love getting my children involved, we'll be reading In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak and a retelling of Little Black Sambo called Sam and the Tigers by Julius Lester.

What book(s) do you plan on reading?  Let me know in the comments!



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