Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Go read a (banned) book today...
Just a reminder...it's Banned Books Week.
I'm going to give you all an assignment. Go to your local library. Get a library card if you don't already have one (and shame on you if you don't). Check out a book that some person or group has tried, at one time or another, to ban from school or public libraries. This is, after all, where most challenges to books come from.
It doesn't have to be a work of great literature, although people have tried to ban many of those. It can be a children's novel or series of novels...In some years in the recent past, the Harry Potter series, by J. K. Rowling, was one of the most challenged books, collectively in the year. It can be a fantasy book or series...J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series has not only been banned, according to information on the American Library Association's website, but was actually burned here in the United States in the not-so-distant past.
Speaking of burning books, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, about a future culture where firemen don't put out fires, they go into people's homes and collect all the books they find and burn them. Good book, and one well worth reading or re-reading.
Anyway, go read a book. Go read a banned or challenged book. And talk about it. Let people know that you will not stand for disappearing a book from library or bookstore shelves just because someone else doesn't like what that books says. It's a First Amendment issue.