Having given Banned Books Week a shot this year, I'm trying to put it someplace in my head - someplace concrete, like yes, I agree, no I don't. Looks like I'm still on the fence. I still think school libraries need some censorship based on maturity - a parent permission shelf would be a good idea for over-the-top novels. In my opinion, public libraries should only have censorship when it comes to the safety of others. For example, books on bomb making at home and books written by pedophiles really shouldn't be bought with public tax dollars for citizens use. In our class session we learned that the state of Arizona is banning all curriculum and library books that support multicultural education on the basis that it is "Anti-American". Wow-that's progress. Here we are taking courses designed to make us be culturally literate teachers and have Indian Education for All requirements for our lessons. We are learning to teach with a completely different approach and there they are in Arizona - de-evolving!
How about this for food for thought - Three books I was really surprised to see on the banned list are Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain and Are You There God? It's me Margaret. I read an article recently that someone was proposing to write a censored version of Hucklberry Finn for classroom use (with good intentions due to use of the N word). And almost every girl between the ages of 30-45 loved Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's me Margaret. So there you have it! The answer to the most often challenged author is Judy Blume with 5 books on the banned list.
The simple fact that people take the time to submit challenges for and protest and even burn books is proof. When's the last time anyone legally challenged a movie in a public library?* What do you think? Can you disprove it? Do you see the POWA'? WORD! source source *Credit to Sheila at MSU library for hinting at this
So, in our Children's Literature class today we had a good half-hour presentation all about the history of censorship and the processes of challenging a book in a school and it was really interesting!
I won The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Book banning goes back a long, long way and sometimes you can see why, for the time period, a book would be challenged. It was even more interesting because she focused on specific Montana challenges. Imagine your teenager graduating high school in Butte, MT and writing a book calling their hometown residents "dry and warped" - banned! She helped us make sense of it all and I feel much better knowing that books in school libraries have to have certain criteria to be included in the collection. So, no, my teenager probably won't find a copy of Shades of Grey in his high school collection and write a book report on it. And yes, teachers can have some say if a student chooses something that's way above their maturity level for an assignment. Still, the amount of backup required for a teacher's choice is incredible.Whew! And, just for fun she had trivia and prizes and I answered this question correctly and won a banned book I know nothing about, lets see if you can guess: What children to adult author is most currently challenged? Here's a link for hints - this author has 5 books on the top 100 Most Challenged books.