Banned Books Week

Be on the lookout for this dangerous rabblerouser

***Warning:  my tongue seems to be stuck in my cheek this evening.

Banned Books Week (Sept. 24 – Oct. 1, 2011) is just around the corner. When I tell my students that we will be celebrating “Banned Books Week,”  I often am greeted with incredulous looks.

I know what those looks mean:  “Why would you celebrate the fact that books are banned?”  I have to quickly explain that the celebration focuses on our right to read what we choose.

Close to Home

Two years in a row, citizens of South Carolina have made it their mission to provide me with examples of books challenged in my own state.  How absolutely thoughtful of them.

Last year, my BBW bulletin board featured the book Sold by Patricia McCormick.  Its inclusion in a middle  school library had been questioned in Laurens, South Carolina that summer by a “well meaning” parent.

The parent chose not to  pursue the formal challenge process, but by going to the news media, she surely convinced many South Carolina middle schoolers NOT to read the book.  After all, teens never question adults’ intelligence.

This summer, a concerned parent challenged Chris Crutcher’s Angry Management.  He was horrified that a book that contained so much profanity in its first 24 pages would be on a summer reading list.  (He took the time to count the words?)

So tonight as I consider activities and displays to celebrate our right to read, I thought I’d have a bit of fun.  Dangerous authors are running amuck in the world.  What’s a librarian to do?

Well, librarians do value copyright, so this one asked for permission to use Chris Crutcher’s photo in the “Wanted” poster.  Visit his website to view the original photo and to also download “Guide to Teaching Challenged and Banned Books featuring the novels of Chris Crutcher.”

Want to make your own “Wanted” posters?  Visit this site.

One last thing – definitely not tongue-in-cheek:  I love my home state and am proud to be a Southern girl.  The two parents who challenged books are not representative of the entire state.