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Posts Tagged ‘banned books’

It’s Banned Books Week and Teen Books Are Getting Special Attention

Posted on September 24th, 2013 by Akunna in Books, News, Teen Services

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Banned Books Week, promoted by the American Library Association (ALA), is a time to celebrate the freedom to read!

This is especially important for teens because teen books are more frequently challenged or banned. Why? According to president of the ALA Barbara Stripling

 

“Young adult [books] is a big trend right now, and a high number of complaints are directed at those books…There is a lot of pressure to keep teenagers safe and protected, especially in urban areas, and we are seeing many more complaints about alcohol, smoking, suicide and sexually explicit material…

Teenagers tell us that they like to read about what’s going on…They say ‘what do they [adults] think we are?’, as if teenagers remain naive and uneducated when facing these issues every day. The best way to protect them is to give them an array of things to read. If they are over-sheltered, they will enter the world without coping skills.”

 

So read, read away and feel free to ask your local librarian questions about banned books!

If you’re looking for reading suggestions–

Top Ten Most Frequently Banned Books in the Past Year

Patrick Ness, author of the Chaos Walking series, has some books to recommend , too.

 

Teens in the News: #FreePersepolis!

Posted on March 29th, 2013 by Akunna in Books, News

free persepolisWhat would you do if a book was banned at your school? Recently, some teens in Chicago had to figure this out.

On March 14, public schools in Chicago were told to take the book Persepolis off their classroom shelves and to stop using the book in classes. Persepolis is a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi that tells the story of her growing up in Iran during a revolution and a war with Iraq in the ’70s and ’80s and in the Chicago Public Schools, it’s taught in grades 7-12. The decision to ban the book, according to the head of Chicago Public Schools Barbara Byrd-Bennett, was made because of the  images of torture and the concern for students not being able to handle it.

After hearing about this, students at Lane Tech High School organized a rally for the next morning to demand that the book be kept in their schools. One high school senior, who read the book for class,  said Persepolis “sheds light on a different country and religion. It cancels out the stereotypes and changes your perspective.”  When asked whether the book was inappropriate for younger students, she added: “We shouldn’t have 12- and 13-year-olds who are not in tune politically. We’re being sheltered. We’re allowing ourselves to be dumbed down.” Students and teachers at another school called the Social Justice High led a read-in, reading the book in their library to protest the ban.

After these protests, Byrd-BennePersepolisprotesttt “re-phrased” the original message about all schools having to take Persepolis off their shelves.  In a letter to teachers, she stated that the book is appropriate for use in high school classrooms, but should not be used in 7th grade classes, where the book should be taken off of classroom shelves and kept in the school libraries only. Unfortunately, as others have noted, many elementary and middle schools do not have school libraries.

For me, hearing about this made me think a lot about access to information for young people and whether they have a say in that. So, I asked some teens at the Dudley Library what they thought about banning books in schools and what they think they’d do in that situation. Here are some of their thoughts:

Nathaniel: ” Why ban books? Books are about expressing ideas you never thought you had. If they ban a book I like, I might protest.”

Chole: “If someone banned A Girl Named Disaster, I would be upset because I’m reading that right now and I like it. If it was a book I never read, it would bother me because I never got the chance to read it.”

Imani: “It depends…if I like the book and it was banned in my school, I would just get it from the public library. There’s no point to banning one book because there are so many other books that probably have things in there that someone could ban it for.”

Ashley: “If a book was banned, I would try to get a petition signed or see what else is possible to do about it. We learn about war in history class. That’s not a good reason to ban a book. ”

How about you–what do you think? Have you read Persepolis? What would you do if a book was banned in your school or community?

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Banned Books Week

Posted on October 6th, 2012 by Mary in Books, Events, Teen Services

Well we have come to the end of another Banned Books Week (September 30-October 6, 2012). It is amazing how many books are added each year and the reasons for the books being added to the list. Goodwill Librarian posted a link on her Facebook timeline of a Youtube video showing many of the books that have been challenged and/or banned from 1990-2000. The video was from Banned Books Week in 2008, but it is still interesting to see what books were on the list. The book covers are shown for the viewer.

Have you read any of these books? What are you favorites? Do you think they should have been banned or challenged?

For information about Banned Books Week and Celebrating our Freedom to Read, check out http://www.ala.org/advocacy/banned/bannedbooksweek or http://bannedbooksweek.org/.

The American Library Association has also created an interactive timeline to highlight some of the books that have been challenged or banned in the past 3o years. http://www.ala.org/advocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/timeline30-years-liberating-literature

If you are interested in reading any of the books, visit your local branch library or request them with your Boston Public Library card (or OneCards or any Massachusetts library cards registered at the Boston Public Library) on the online BPL Catalog.

Celebrate your freedom to read what you want to read!! Yay!!