Carol Callicotte


Banned Books Week September 30, 2008

Filed under: Censorship,Reading — A French American Life @ 3:45 pm
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Time Magazine posted an article on the top 10 banned books of all time, here.

Very interesting. I’ve only read 4 of the 10, and 2 of the others are sitting on my dresser in my to-be-read pile. I’ve got some work to do. I’m halfway through Bridge to Terabithia, which did not make Time’s list, but is a frequently challenged book. As I mentioned before, I loved this story as a child and have wanted to reread it for years. I’ve been swept away by the evocative language and strongly drawn characters.

So far, I’ve found nothing objectionable about the book. But whether or not a reader finds something offensive is not the issue. The issue here is censorship and first amendment rights, not whether or not something prods our horrified-gasp reflex. Please, offend me, challenge me, force me to think, but for the love of liberty and individuality, don’t ever expect me to stand by quietly while a government decides what I should be exposed to, what I have a right to read, hear, or say.

And why are more people not outraged at the prospect of having a Vice President who does not understand this fundamental building block of the United States of America?


Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read September 24, 2008

Filed under: Censorship,Writing,Writing World — A French American Life @ 3:58 pm
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Freedom of speech – a topic near and dear to my heart. This year we celebrate the 27th anniversary of Banned Books Week, September 27-October 4.

I took this quote from the American Library Association’s website:

“BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.”

For more information on Banned Books Week, check out the American Library Association.

Here’s a list of the ten most frequently challenged books of 2007. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed.

1) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
2) The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
3) “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henke

4) “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
5) “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
6) “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
7) “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
8 ) “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
9) “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
10) “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky

And here’s a link to the top 10 challenged books 1991-2007.

So what can we do to celebrate this freedom? Stay informed and get involved in your community. Support your public and school libraries. And read a challenged book this week! I’m choosing Bridge to Terabithia, a favorite from my childhood that I’ve wanted to reread for a while.