Monday, September 29, 2008

Banned Books week: Book List, Video and More!

Benjamin Franklin said: "Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech."

Banned Books Week 2008 is the twenty-seventh annual celebration of the freedom to read. Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Association of College Stores. The Library of Congress Center for the Book endorses it.

You can find Videos on Banned Book Week in Kidsfreesouls You Tube. Find the books Top 10 books banned in 2007 and Top 50 Books banned from 1990-2000.

This year, as ALA celebrates the week from September 27-4th October, you can find some banned books picks :

1. Harry Potter Series:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsHarry Potter and the Goblet of FireHarry Potter and the Half Blood PrinceHarry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone.
These books were to ban out of the school libraries, based on a claim they promote witchcraft. The themes of witchcraft and sorcery were inappropriate for a Catholic school. A county school board members said the books were good tools to encourage children to read and to spark creativity and imagination.

2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain, Mark [Samuel L. Clemens]
Challenged, but retained in the Lakeville, Minn. High School (2007) and St. Louis Park High School in Minneapolis, Minn. (2007) as required reading for sophomores. The district will conduct staff training about race issues and revise the way it weighs requests for curriculum changes. The district will also let its staff offer alternative assignments on racially sensitive issues in ways which “students do not feel ostracized because they have opted out of the assignment." Challenged at Richland High School in North Richland Hills, Tex. (2007) because of racial epithets. Challenged at the Manchester, Conn. High School (2007) "because the 'N' word is used in the book 212 times."

3.Rainbow Boys - Sanchez, Alex.
Removed from the Webster, N.Y. Central School District summer reading list for high-school students (2006) after receiving complaints from parents about explicit sexual content. The book won the International Reading Association's 2003 Young Adults' Choice Award, and the American Library Association selected it as a Best Book for Young Adults. A year later the book returned to the list after district officials reviewed the process used to select books on the list.

4. Go Ask Alice. Anonymous.
Challenged as a reading assignment at Hanahan Middle School in Berkeley County, S.C. (2008) because of blatant, explicit language using street terms for sex, talk of worms eating body parts, and blasphemy. The anonymously written 1971 book is about a fifteen-year-old girl who gets caught up in a life of drugs and sex before dying from an overdose. Its explicit references to drugs and sex have been controversial since it was first published.

5. The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens used Writing to Change themselves and the World Around Them
Challenged in the Howell, Mich. High School (2007) along with several other books because of strong sexual content. In response to a request from the president of the Livingston Organization for Values in Education, or LOVE, the county's top law enforcement official reviewed the books to see whether laws against distribution of sexually explicit materials to minors had been broken. "After reading the books in question, it is clear that the explicit passages illustrated a larger literary, artistic, or political message and were not included solely to appeal to the prurient interests of minors," the Livingston County prosecutor wrote. "Whether these materials are appropriate for minors is a decision to be made by the school board, but I find that they are not in violation of the criminal laws." The best-selling book has achieved national acclaim and was made into a recent hit movie.

6. Rani by Jaishree Misra
This book is banned for sale and distribution in Uttar Pradesh India.

7. Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner
Challenged as appropriate study in tenth-grade honors English class at Freedom High School in Morganton, N.C. (2008) because the novel depicts a sodomy rape in graphic detail and uses vulgar language.

Well, you can find more books that are Challenged in 2007-2008 here and download a pdf for reading pleasure. Also celebrate Teen Read Week here. You can watch this space more for my Amazon Banned Books Listmania which currently has My Comics World and Childhood Classics with more topics. Meanwhile, here's one for ready reference on Banned Books.

Freedom of speech is at will but Books are challenged and banned for every possible reason. Books are challenged usually, to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information. And it might surprise many, Harry Potter Books face a challenge Book category for its focus on wizardy and magic! It is understood that between 1990 and 2000, around 6,364 challenges reported to or recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom. Based upon the objections of a person or group, when books are challenged for reading, they are banned! However, Banned Books Week makes it possible for 'Free People Read Freely' concept and the Banned Books week emphasize the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinion. Sometimes, silencing the expression of opinion is no good but when the material is unsuitable for age group, offensive language or sexually explicit, Banning is Must! Human Race falls prey easy to the vices and yet, when these challenged books ultimately get banned, this week sure do justice to work that is dumped in cans if the content is good for read!

Its your ticket to freedom. Freedom to read the books that you missed out and freedom to ban a book. Get-set-ready to read Books - Encourage Reading and celebrate Freedom. Make the Banned Books Project in the classroom and dive into the ocean of knowledge.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

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