Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Right to Read

It's that time of year again: the chance for avid readers are able to express their outrage at censorship in "the land of the free." I'm talking about Banned Book Week, people. For various reasons - religious or political agenda, explicit material, substance abuse, etc - libraries and schools have stripped their shelves of the most thought-provoking, realistic portrayals of life They hope to shield their young readers from thinking new thoughts (*gasp*!), thoughts that may change their life positively.

This week, we celebrate our freedoms. Freedom of speech and expression are part of the U.S. Constitution, and close-minded, loud-mouthed leaders cannot change that.

Personally, I am lucky to have a school library that embraces controversial topics. Yesterday when I walked in there, an entire display case was devoted to BBW. I've made a point to read the controversial books that my library has to offer, and every one of them has a worthwhile message.

Here's some books that have been censored. Have you read them? Have they scarred you for life or opened your eyes? I've read all of them, and each had a powerful message.
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
  • Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Clause
  • Cut by Patricia McCormick
  • Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  • Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • Glass by Ellen Hopkins is being challenged right now

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