Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Banned (or Challenged) Books Discussion

What is a banned or challenged book, you ask? A challenged book is a book that someone has asked to be removed from a library or store because they object to its content. A banned book is a book that has actually been removed from a library or store. Teen books are particularly vunerable to challenges because, well, they are read by teens. Some adults believe that teens don't have the ability to choose what book is right for them. They may believe that books with objectionable content will corrupt your young minds.

According to the American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom, the most challenged book of 2007 was And Tango Makes Three. This is a children's book about two male penguins raising a baby together. Another title that is often on the annual Most Frequently Challenged Book List is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This book is by Stephen Chbosky, a Pittsburgh native. Some reasons that are cited for the banning of this book include homosexual characters and offensive language.

Please choose a title to read from ALA's 2007 list of most challenged books and join us on Sunday, September 21st at 3 pm for a lively discussion about intellectual freedom.

Here are a few other web resources about Intellectual Freedom:

AS IF! Authors Support Intellectual Freedom
This blog features many teen fiction authors, such as Cecil Castellucci Brent Hartinger, David Levithan, E. Lockart, Jordan Sonneblick, and many, many more!

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund started in 1986 and its purpose is to fight for the First Amendment rights of graphic novel artists.

National Coalition Against Censorship
This group is literally a coalition of 50 different non-profit organizations who have aligned to fight censorship. They are an Intellectual Freedom voltron of sorts.

Happy Banned Reading!



Megan said...

I saw "banned books" and saw the cover of the Golden Compass and I was immediately enraged Grrr...! That book was one of THE best books I read as a child and though I can guess why it's banned [religious reasons] it shouldn't be! That's all I had to say.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Teens said...

Thanks for sharing your reaction Megan. The Golden Compass is a title that has been full of controversy this past year because of the movie. It's great to hear a favorable opinion of the book.

Anonymous said...

Locking the door just makes us look for answers somewhere else, so then why would they bann books.
i believe books are just aw way of learning.