Saturday, July 31, 2010

Happy Pride!

Welcome to Pride Weekend! And what better way to celebrate Pride than by reading books formerly banned or challenged because of gay/lesbian content. It's time to show the public that books should not be made to disappear because they contain something "different." This is why books should be embraced! To give people a chance to step into a world of "different" and get away from normal for a bit. And with that in mind, I give you a list of my top five gay/lesbian books that face banning or that have been challenged in the last decade, as well as my top five favorite queer young adult books:

1) The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)
2) Geography Club (Brent Hartinger)
3) Rainbow Boys (Alex Sanchez)
4) Athletic Shorts (Chris Crutcher)
5) And Tango Makes Three (Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson)

My Favorites
1) Nothing Pink (Mark Hardy)
2) Boy Meets Boy (David Levithan)
3) How Beautiful the Ordinary (Michael Cloud, Editor)
4) Thinking Straight (Robin Reardon)
5) Will Grayson, Will Grayson (David Levithan and John Green)

Enjoy Pride and have fun reading!

censoring censorship...

the irony is rich in this example of censorship. a book on censorship being challenged for being available to young readers. what do you think about this? have you read this book? check it out at a library near you and see if you think it's worth challenging...

Author: Selzer, Adam
Book: How to Get Suspended and Influence People
Publisher: Delacorte
Issue: Challenged at the Nampa, Idaho Public Library (2009) by a parent appalled that the cover included an abstract drawing of a nude woman (can you see the picture with the bar over the circles-that-would-be-breasts?) and the back cover contains some profanity . The book explores the theme of censorship through the eyes of a gifted eighth-grader who is suspended after making an avant-garde sex-education video for a class project.

Source: Books Challenged or Banned in 2009–2010 (American Library Association) Jan. 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

about the site...

with this site i will attempt to promote the reading and spreading of books regularly challenged and/or banned by libraries and schools because certain groups or individuals feel the need to deprive children and young people from making their own informed decisions about what they read. each day (or thereabouts) i will be posting tidbits of information from the American Library Association, Canadian Library Association, and the National Coalition Against Censorship. usually these tidbits will be about a specific book, exploring the reasons that the book has been challenged and how the library/school dealt with the situation. it is my hope that with awareness and advocacy, censorship can be lessened to the point that people will once again be able to let young people think for themselves.

thanks to all who read and/or participate either by checking out this blog or by checking out banned/challenged books from local libraries and schools. happy reading!