Banned Books Week

Sparkman 9 Library-Media Center

Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week is the national book community's annual celebration of the freedom to read.
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What is Banned Books Week?

"Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. It highlights the value of free and open access to information."

http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek

Why do libraries and other educational institutions acknowledge BBW?

"Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community...to support...the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular."
http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek

The First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment

Censorship...

  • is when a person or group successfully imposes their values upon others by stifling words, images or ideas and preventing them from reaching the public marketplace of ideas.
  • is the suppression of speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other such entities.
image from www.anh-usa.org

Reading Tip: Censor yourself, not others.

BOOKMANS DOES BANNED BOOKS VIRTUAL READ-OUT

The Difference Between BANNED and CHALLENGED

  • A CHALLENGE is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.
  • A BANNING is the removal of those materials.
Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. Due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection.
http://www.ala.org/bbooks/about

Why are books CHALLENGED?

Books are challenged in cities and towns all over the country for a multitude of reasons.

Often challenges are motivated by a desire to protect children from “inappropriate” sexual content or “offensive” language. The following were the top three reasons cited for challenging materials as reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom:
  1. the material was considered to be "sexually explicit"
  2. the material contained "offensive language"
  3. the material was "unsuited to any age group"

TOP 10 BOOKS CHALLENGED IN 2015

  1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).
  3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
    Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.
  4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
    Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).
  6. The Holy Bible
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint.
  7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
    Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).
  8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
    Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  9. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.
  10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).

Top 10 Books Challenged in 2014

1) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”

2) Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”

3) And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”

4) The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”

5) It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris

Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”

6) Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group. Additional reasons:

7) The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence

8) The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”

9) A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

10) Drama, by Raina Telgemeier

Reasons: sexually explicit

A Few Frequently Challenged Books

Book Challenged in Limestone County

Chris Crutcher's Whale Talk Challenged in Limestone County
http://legacy.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/news/050417/books.shtml

Chris Crutcher Visits Alabama to Defend His Work.
http://legacy.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/news/050922/banned.shtml
A special message from young adult author, Chris Crutcher

What Banned Book Are You Reading?

What banned book are you reading?
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