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Shine a Light on Banned Books

September 27, 2010

 Support the First Amendment, Read a Banned Book

You know when someone tells you “don’t do that”, how you suddenly really want to do it? Admit it; the allure of “don’t” is often irresistible….and there’s the up side of pushing that envelope—you just might learn something. This past week I learned, or maybe re-learned, that there are people who sometimes don’t want others to learn-  they are “book banners”, those who feel that they have the right and responsibility to tell everyone else what we shouldn’t read. Last Sunday I checked in on Twitter and noticed a lot of posts that included the “hashtag” #speakloudly. I found out quickly that #speakloudly was being added by anyone on Twitter who supported the right to read author Laurie Halse Anderson’s SPEAK, (check out Anderson’s blog) which had been “banned” by a Mr. Scroggins in Missouri. Yes, Mr. Scroggins had taken it upon himself to tell the world that they should not read SPEAK, a book that deals with the aftermath of a rape through the eyes of the victim, who chooses to stop speaking rather than have to tell anyone what has happened to her. The outpouring of support for this book and author Laurie Halse Anderson was incredible—teachers, readers, fellow authors and fans all declaring the right of any individual to read and talk about this book, to SPEAK LOUDLY. Ironically the added attention to this title only served to increase awareness of the book and its subject matter and how right it is to read what we choose to read without censorship. Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop also posted an eloquent blog entry on this topic here.

Do your part for banned books week and Read a Banned Book—here are links that will give you more history about banned books and lists of the books themselves.

http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/info.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most-commonly_challenged_books_in_the_United_States

http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/index.cfm

The good news is, not all censorship issues end with books being removed from shelves.  It’s time to help increase awareness of censorship issues like this one.   And you can do it all with the attached graphic and by linking to our First Amendment website: http://www.randomhouse.com/banned/

We’re asking you to mention this graphic to five people you know this week — authors, artists, bloggers, industry contacts, friends, or family —  and ask them to post the graphic to their blog or Web site in support of Banned Books Week or Tweet about Banned Books Week in some way. They can also embed this graphic onto their web page, using the code below:

<a href=”http://www.randomhouse.com/banned“><img src=”http://www.randomhouse.com/teens/firstamendment/images/BannedBooks1.gif” width=”100″ height=”100″ border=”0″ alt=”Support the First Amendment, Read a Banned Book”></a>

For more detailed instructions, valuable information, and interesting thoughts on censorship from some Random House authors visit: http://www.randomhouse.com/teens/firstamendment/resources.html

Bonus! Random House will send a free banned or challenged book (while supplies last) to anyone who posts the graphic, blogs, or Tweets about Banned Books Week. Tell them about it at firstamendment@randomhouse.com.

Part two of this post is our favorite Banned Books- and please comment there to share your favorites with us as well!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Heather permalink
    September 27, 2010 8:46 am

    Great resources! Last week my admin tried to ban a book from my classroom library. So this week I am teaching all my students about Banned Book Week and the First Amendment.

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