Dear BANNED Author: Banned Books Week 2019
This year for Banned Books Week the American Library Association is encouraging us to write letters to banned authors. You can find the top 11 banned books for 2018 here (or scroll down) and also find snail mail addresses here if you’d like to participate. Here is my letter:
Dear Angie Thomas,
I’m re-reading THUG in honor of Banned Books Week. When I mentioned that your book was in the top ten of banned books for the past two years, my thirteen-year-old daughter was incredulous (but mostly annoyed). Why? Because it would never occur to her that the things that you wrote about in your book should be censored.
Thank you for writing about Khalil and Starr. Thank you for sharing their experiences and neighborhood. And thank you for making Starr a Slytherin like my girl. :D
You are an insipiration.
Okay, I admit I’m re-reading only sections of the book. Because it’s a hard read even the second/third/fourth time around in parts and I honestly had a rather emotional week last week. (A lot going on in the world, at work, etc. Nothing specific to me. But similar to one of my daughters, I take it all in anyway.)
The bright side to re-reading? If you read my post about over due library books last week, you know that I held on to THUG for way too long. However, someone in my family gave me the collector’s edition of The Hate U Give and I just discovered the extras in it! Yeah, I’m a bit slow.
SPOILER: the extras include one of the short stories that Thomas originally wrote as part of her MFA thesis—these stories helped shape what eventually would become THUG. There are also some beautiful illustrations, including my favorite one by Vashti Harrison. I recognized her style right away as I love to follow her illustrations on Instagram. And, in case you don’t know, Harrison also illustrated the forthcoming picture book by Lupita Nyong’o, Sulwe.
NOT Banned in My School
Here is Little Lion’s letter to a banned author.
Dear Neil Patrick Harris,
I think Magic Misfits is a great story full of adventure. At our school, it is a Battle of the Books book and most of the other schools said “no'‘ because Leila’s dads are gay. Our librarian split off and made it a BOB book anyway and now I am enjoying it quite a lot.
I bought the other two books in the series because I liked it so much. The secret codes are fun and the stories capture your attention as soon as you start.
[Little Lion Bookworm]
Thank you to Mrs. M and Mrs. B for being amazing librarians and amazing people. They are truly inspiring.
Tell Dr. Bookworm!
Which banned book are you reading this week? What is one of your favorite banned books?