I’ve been a little behind on blogging and nearly missed Banned Books Week. I still recall the first time I cracked open Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Stories of friends hanging out in the summer with unlimited opportunity for adventure sans parents. What more could a young reader ask for? It was even easier to read knowing that these books weren’t allowed in school…funny…a teacher was the one who introduced them to me back in freshman year. The stories also touched on class, culture, and racism. Deeper issues that remain prevalent in our society today…and concepts that weren’t foreign for a multi-racial teenager growing up in early Silicon Valley. Thank you Mr. Sinclair!
I encourage you to read a banned book with your child and have lots of conversation with them about it. Choose one that works for you, your child, and your family.
One of the things we discuss in our Teen Step/parenting class and our McAuliffe Aid training (MAT) Class is the importance of knowing your child. Have conversations with them. This is a fun way to learn with them. Ask them about their world and listen to their answers.
So what is banned books week? According to their site:
“Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2013 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 22-28. Banned Books Week 2014 will be held September 21-27.
Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982. For more information on Banned Books Week, click here. According to the American Library Association, there were 464 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2012, and many more go unreported.
Here are a just a few to consider:
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
- To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
- The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
- Brave New World, Aldus Huxley
- Slaughter House Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
- Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey