Sunday, September 27, 2020

BW39: Freedom to Read


This week we celebrate the freedom to read. Beginning in 210bc with Chinese emperor Shih Huang Ti, to the present, books have been challenged, outright banned and even burned for the thoughts and ideas written in their pages.  Challengers have many reasons, afraid their children will be exposed to differences they choose not to acknowledge, afraid they will be exposed to people or language or ideas they don't agree with. 

The fear of words, ones that teach and reach right into your very soul and expose you to new ideas, is a powerful thing. Letters on a page. One word, two, a sentence, a paragraph, one building upon another, to a book full of  words that motivate, illuminate, educate, and open our eyes, our minds, our hearts and souls to different people, cultures, and worlds, both real and imaginary.  Books that lift us up, fill us with joy as well as sorrow, teach us to analyze and debate and think about what if.   

Banned Books Week was created in 1982 by the American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom, in response to challenges and requests to ban books from libraries and bookstores due to their content.  Eight out of the top ten most challenged books for 2019 were for their LGBTQIA+ content. The last two, the Harry Potter series for exposing children to magic and witchcraft and nefarious characters, and The Handmaid's Tale for vulgarity and sexual overtones.  Every year, the ALA receives complaints and requests to remove classic books from the library and/or the curriculum. 

How Banning Books Marginalizes Children

Why Your Kid Should Read Banned Books

Parental fear and cultural erasure: The logic behind banning books.

California School District considers ban on classic books.

Who Should Decide What Books Are Allowed In Prison?

Kuwait relaxes book censorship laws after banning thousands of titles

Editorial on Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board Banning books part I and Part II

Around the globe - A Map of Forbidden Books in 2019 

Access a database of 70,000 books banned around the world going back to 1575

Celebrate your freedom to read a banned or challenged book this week! 

Please share your book reviews and link to your website, blog, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblers, or Instagram page. If you do not have a social media account, please leave a comment to let us know what you are reading. The link widget closes at the end of each book week.

In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field paste a link to your post, then check the privacy box and click enter.

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