Stickin’ It to the Ban
Greetings readers, new and old. I’d like to thank you all for dropping in on us and getting involved in Banned Books Week, to whatever extent and in whatever way you did. BBW is a yearly event, not just to celebrate banned and challenged books and the freedom to read, but to draw attention to the fact that, yes, this is still happening. Here. In the US. In your state. In our schools and libraries and sometimes our legislatures.
Sometimes it is a book being restricted so children are required to have signed permission to access it. Sometimes the book(s) are removed from the curriculum or are simply not allowed to be taught due to controversial or “inappropriate” material, as is the case for many classics such as The Canterbury Tales. Sometimes books are pulled from the shelves of school or public libraries entirely. Sometimes certain books are not allowed on school grounds. Sometimes they are banned from use in the entire school district or certain topics are barred from classrooms and textbooks. Sometimes legislation dictates what can and cannot be taught in schools, such as the “anti-ethnic studies law” in Arizona or similar efforts to ban references to homosexuality in school.
Whatever the case, it is down to us to pay attention, notice when this is happening, and do something about it. If you are aware of a challenge or ban at your school or library, both the American Library Association and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund have resources to help.
In the meantime, whether you are a student, teacher, parent, librarian, reader, writer, bookstore affiliate, or someone who just realized Banned Books Week exists and wants to know more or get in on the fun, here are some links to wrap up the week or send you forth into the rest of the year with. Oh, and check back here every now and then too. For the Bound and Gagged Banned Books Blog, every week is Banned Books Week.
Dangerous Words: Challenged and Banned Mighty Girl Books – This article by A Mighty Girl offers a great overview of the most common reasons books are banned. It also takes a look at some specific banned books, including novels and children’s books featuring female protagonists or non-fiction books that parents of girls (and boys) may find helpful or informative.
Protecting “The Books That Will Never Be Written”: Judy Blume’s Fight Against Censorship – This article from A Mighty Girl discusses Judy Blume, the second most banned author in the US after Stephen King, and how she has become an outspoken advocate for the freedom to read (and write)
10 Frequently Challenged Graphic Novels | Banned Books Week – School Library Journal takes a look at frequently challenged graphic novels
22 Banned and Challenged Comics – The CBLDF takes a look at some frequently banned and challenged comic books and graphic novels
Banned Books By The Numbers (INFOGRAPHICS) – A map of book challenges by state
19 Banned Books If They Were Made Appropriate – A humorous take on some famous banned and challenged books
Which Banned Book Are You? – A little bit of light-hearted banned books fun. I got Persepolis!