September 28, 2009

Subject: Banned Book Week

It's Banned Book Week, both a celebration of free speech and a reminder that censors continue to challenge books deemed inappropriate due to language or content.
I would like to thank the many authors, librarians, journalists, teachers and readers who work so hard to fight censorship and promote the freedom to read.
What gets challenged and censored most? Click here for a list of the top ten books challenged in 2008. You can also find a more detailed listing here.
Laurie Halse Anderson's novels Twisted and Speak recently faced challenges in three different school districts. You can read her blog for insight on the process and updates on the efforts to keep those books available to young readers. Thank you, Laurie, for writing books that reveal emotional truths about difficult experiences.
Thank you, too, to Judy Blume, Chris Crutcher and the many other children's and young adult writers who battle censorship. Judy Blume, the author of many of my favorite books as a child, edited Places I Never Meant to Be, a great collection of short stories by censored writers.
For record, some of my favorite reads from this year's list of challenged and banned books:
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • Me, Penelope by Lisa Jahn-Clough
  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
What are your favorite banned or challenged books?

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