Banned Books Week
Banned Books Week
What is banned books week? It’s a week that opens up discussions about books that have been banned in the past and that continue to be banned even now. That’s right; I bet most people don’t know that books are still banned in this country! Yet, they are and often for not-so-legitimate reasons.
The children's book list includes books like the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling, classics from my youth like Are You There God?, It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume, Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic and Roald Dahl's The Witches and James and the Giant Peach.
This year’s banned book week theme is about diversity. Why diversity? Diversity in books seems to be a hot topic these last few years. And with good reason. Although there has been a discrepancy in diverse (multicultural, differently-abled, LQBTQ) main characters compared with the US population, there has been some progress. Yet the progress isn't happening fast enough. According to We Need Diverse Books, for picture books published in 2015, over 70% of the main characters were white.
In all actuality, I can't do this topic justice--so I've left all those links for you to explore the sites that say it better. For further information about why diverse books are often banned, please see this article by Olusina Adebayo. One list in particular that I will be perusing is the banned books that shaped America, which includes some of my old favorite friends likeThe Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Of course, my daughters' wonderful school librarian set up a Banned Books area right in front of the library with large yellow caution tape markings. Perfect! Nothing to attract those kids to all these amazing books more than a big "You shouldn't be reading this sign". Well done, Mrs. M, well done.
So go on, pick up one of these banned books and read it today.
My choice: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie because I absolutely love The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven. And I've checked out the book from the library before but (gasp!) didn't get a chance to read it.
Though it may be high time I introduced the girls to A Light in the Attic. We have the 40th anniversary edition of Where the Sidewalk Ends and Mini-Me can spend hours re-reading Silverstein's quirky and sometimes morbid poems. After all, we all could use a little more poetry in our lives.