Banned Books Week 2018

Banned Books Week 2018

First observed in 1982, Banned Books Week reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted

It’s Banned Book Week, a wonderful week educating us that BOOKS ARE STILL BEING BANNED right here in the U.S. The quote above is from the American Library Association, which keeps track of books that are being challenged and banned in this country.

This is the third year that I’ve been writing about Banned Book Week. And I have to thank my girls’ school librarian for that. Besides being an amazing resource for our kids, she always has wonderful displays at the library. And she doesn’t tell a kid NOT to read a certain book—I’ve witnessed her saying that it depends on the kid, and that they need to ask their parents.

As it should be. This year when I contemplated what to write about Banned Books Week, I saw the great video that Dav Pilkey (author of the Captain Underpants series and much more) put together for the ALA. The resounding message was that just because a book may not be what you want your child to read doesn’t mean you have to have it banned for everyone else. I have to admit that I’m still astounded when I think about the fact that the Harry Potter series has been repeatedly banned or prohibited because there’s MAGIC in it. What’s wrong with magic and fantasy and the imagination?

The featured photo (from way above) depicts some of our favorite banned books. I think it’s important to discuss the topics and content of books with our kids. Do I read every single book that my daughters read? No way. There’s no way I can keep up. Mini Me has read more than 10 books this week so far.

But I do tell her that there are certain books that I want her to wait to read. For example, she’s read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han but I told her that she can’t read the sequel because it deals with more than what I want her to read for now. And I let her read Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda but not Leah on the Offbeat. Yet. She’s only 12 and while she is an old soul, there are some things that make sense to wait to expose her to—though some may disagree with me and see Simon and Leah as equivalent, and they may be right. However I’m still waiting because there’s a lot more in that sequel in my opinion. She also has read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and we are definitely going to see the film together in a few weeks. But you bet that we had a discussion about all the books and the sensitive topics within.

Below are the Top Ten challenged books from last year. I’ve heard of all of them except one. And I may make it my mission to make my next read one of these books. BECAUSE I CAN. And I’m grateful for that.

 This graphic from the American Library Association depicts the top ten banned books in the U.S. for 2017.

This graphic from the American Library Association depicts the top ten banned books in the U.S. for 2017.

Tell Dr. Bookworm!

What is your favorite book that has been banned? Have you had a book banned in your local community? Why was it banned?

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Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda VERSUS Love, Simon

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