Monday, September 27, 2010

Book Blog Love for Banned Book Week

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend! Saturday night we saw a play, written and directed by Tim Robbins, "Break the Whip" - so good! It was so unusual and fascinating, it was so exciting to witness - done in the Commedia dell'arte style, with the actors in masks. The actors had to sing and dance and speak three languages. Oh and there was this wonderful narration done with shadow puppetry. I know it sounds like a terrific mess but it was mesmerizing.

On Sunday, we saw the documentary "Waiting for Superman". ARGH! As the wife of an educator, I am so very very very tired of all the blame being heaped upon teachers! When did the drum beat of "most teachers stink" begin?! My husband talks education all day every day to me, is constantly looking for ways to engage his students and when I am in the company of his coworkers, they do the same. They are deeply interested and committed to their students and education in general.

So I don't buy it. I don't buy that most teachers are ineffective and failing. Certainly there must be teachers that are poor and I imagine, yes, even awful, but their number is small. I think what is happening is a wish for someone to blame and a wish for a quick fix.


Okay, climbing down from one soap box and up onto another teehee!

I love books, how about you? I can remember getting my first library card when I was little. OH! How I looked forward to the day I could have my own! You had to be able to sign your name on the form to get one and I kept practicing and practicing. When the day finally came, I was beyond thrilled when I was presented with my library card.

This week is Banned Books Week, sponsored by the American Library Association.

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

September 25−October 2, 2010

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections. Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.

In recognition of Banned Books Week and in celebration of books and my love of reading, here are some book blogs for my fellow bookaholics out there. (A list of the most challenged books for 2000-2009 follows below.)

Bloomsbury Bell
Book Tryst
Books Please
Books to the ceiling
For the love of books
Geranium Cat's Bookshelf
Hannah Stoneham's Book Blog
I Prefer Reading
Julie's Bookshelf
Miss Lemon's Mysteries
Mystery Writing is Murder
Nineteenth Century Dust Jackets
Past is Present
Shelf Elf
Stuck in a Book
The Endless Bookshelf
The Fine Books Blog
The Ibooknet Blog
The Persephone Post
Vintage Reads

The following are the most often contested books per the ALA. I'm sure most of us have read some of these titles.

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

1 Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2 Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3 The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4 And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5 Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7 Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8 His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9 TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Myracle, Lauren
10 The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11 Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12 It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13 Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15 The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16 Forever, by Judy Blume
17 The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18 Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19 Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20 King and King, by Linda de Haan
21 To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22 Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23 The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24 In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25 Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26 Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27 My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28 Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29 The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30 We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31 What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32 Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33 Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34 The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35 Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36 Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37 It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38 Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39 Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40 Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41 Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42 The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43 Blubber, by Judy Blume
44 Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45 Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46 Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47 The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, by George Beard
48 Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50 The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51 Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52 The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53 You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54 The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55 Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56 When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57 Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58 Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59 Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60 Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61 Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62 The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63 The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64 Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65 The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66 Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67 A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68 Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69 Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70 Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71 Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72 Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73 What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74 The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75 Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76 A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77 Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78 The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79 The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80 A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81 Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82 Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83 Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84 So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85 Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86 Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87 Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88 The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89 Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90 A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91 Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Graighead George
92 The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93 Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94 Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95 Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96 Grendel, by John Gardner
97 The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98 I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99 Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100 America: A Novel, by Frank, E.R.


  1. Wow,
    The contested book list is unreal-half of them are classics. I'm going to forward the list to my Son-he's read so many of them as have I-he'll get a kick out of this. Back to son-he's about 5 11" might be tall enough for your niece! Ha ha! Have a Happy Monday!

  2. Hi Leslie!
    I know, isn't the list amazing?! A few years back, my husband read some of the titles (he hadn't already read) to see what the possible complaint could be and he was totally flummoxed. Fascinating. And scary. Geez.
    Hahahaha 5'11" is close enough! ;) How's he doing? I hope he's enjoying his classes! I need to call my niece, she finally had her first classes on Thursday - boy, the quarter system sure starts late.
    Happy Monday!

  3. Dearest Sally, okay, you know how much I love your blog lists, well, sometimes I get so hung up visiting all those I forget to come back and comment on your post:( I enjoyed last weeks Christmas blogs SO much and want to thank you for that. Please know that I enjoy you and your blog very much! Have a nice week! Twyla

  4. Hi Twyla!
    You're such a sweetheart, thank you so much for visiting and your lovely comment! I know I know, there just aren't enough moments in the days anymore, are there?! So please don't fret, I'm right there with you. I'm sure someone has gone and speeded up the clock on us.
    Wishing you a lovely week!

  5. Hi Sally,
    I am a book lover too! I often think that I am probably Amazon's best customer. My "to read" pile is forever growing! I must check out some of the bookaholic blogs that you have linked too. And of course, I have read quite a few of the most contested books on the list... and am surprised to see some of the titles that made it on there.


  6. Hi Stephanie!
    So nice to see you - two great minds as they say, I was thinking about you yesterday! I need to come shopping for skellies. :)
    Yeah, so glad you're a book lover too! Oh boy, I know about the "pile" - my husbands is even higher than mine and possibly life threatening, it's so tall teehee!
    I look forward to hearing all your latest! Happy week to you,

  7. I tried to ban my kids from reading Harry Potter. But everyone was reading it, and she borrowed it from friends.

    I have not read it/them because I don't like fantasy. I tried to sit with them to watch on TV to see what it is all about

  8. Thank you for taking the time to share this!
    I love books; I don't get the teacher blame, either. Funds are low and the teachers I know are doing their best! It is the parents responsibility to educate, too~

  9. I'm Back Sally!!! How awesome these posts are. I would have totally helped belt it out, even amongst a room of impressionable toddlers at the B&B sing a long. Hey I have so dug some of those banned books...I LOVE the heck out of Harry Potter too. I have a dear friend who is an underappreciated and overworked teacher and for the last week on the Today Show my neck hairs have stood on end when I hear the phrase, "and about those bad teachers..." Granted there are some out there, but why is this such a hot topic. People love to "blame". Thank you for visiting my lonely little blog. Love to you and have a cheery week.