October 2, 2010

Banned Books Week 2010: The Conclusion

I hope everyone read what they wanted to read this week, in celebration of Banned Books Week.  Today, the oft-challenged Ellen Hopkins was the keynote speaker at the Austin Teen Book Festival.  Her points were familiar, but still need to be made again and again.  People have different maturity and reading levels.  No one can determine what is appropriate for someone else to read, especially if they haven't read it themselves.  Read and interpret on your own.

Also, I adore this graphic from GOOD Magazine on the most targeted books.  (The reasons for challenging are represented by colored darts.  Visual puns are so much fun.)

One of the easiest things you can do to help?  Send a letter or e-mail to a challenged author saying what his or her book meant to you.  Many authors save such letters and pass copies on to librarians trying to defend their books.  The best way to challenge those who want to silence voices is by speaking.

Remember, it's hard to truly ban a book. If your school library doesn't carry a book, try the city library. Go to a bookstore. Use Amazon or other online retailers like Book Depository. IndieBound will set you up with independents across the country.

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