A public service out there for all you writer types. Next week (September 25–October 1, 2016) is Banned Book Week.
Book banning isn’t when someone doesn’t want their child to read a book. That’s called parenting. Maybe not parenting well, but parenting. Book banning is when someone doesn’t want my kid, your kid or any kid to read a book and they get it pulled from class or the library. For my kid this wouldn’t be a huge deal. We have more books than grains of rice (and I have two big bags of rice). For some young readers school is the only access to books that they have.
Why not celebrate our right to choose what we read by reading a banned book next week? Here is a list that might help you pick out a book.
The 10 Most Challenged Books of 2015 (from least challenged to most challenged).
10. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
9. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter
8. Habibi by Craig Thompson
7. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
6. The Holy Bible
5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
3. I am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
2. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
1. Looking for Alaska by John Green
Honestly, I’ve usually read more of them than I have this year. This is almost embarrasing. That said, I loved Looking for Alaska. I’m not sure how I missed Nasreen’s Secret School since I’m a huge Winter fan but I’ve already requested that one from the library. Habibi is a graphic novel about child slavery. I’ve requested that, too. Fun Home is both a graphic novel and a memoir. Yep. I have a request in for that too. I have to say that I wasn’t surprised to see I am Jazz on this list since it is a picture book about a trangender girl. That said, I requested that too. I want to see how the author explains it to this young audience. 50 Shades of Grey can stay on the list for a long, long time and I still won’t read it. My mother-in-law and I have a pact. I’d hate to disappoint her.
Joking aside, book banning is a huge issue because it is an attempt to control what we think. Please take the time to read a banned book. As you read, think about who might benefit from picking up a copy. When you realize who it is, you’ll know what book banning cannot be permitted.