Thursday, September 22, 2011

Banned Books Week Sept 24-Oct 1, 2011

Banned Books Week is coming up. This is an annual event celebrating the fabulous First Amendment and our rights to access information. Not surprisingly and unfortunately, there are quite a few kidlit books out there that have been banned. Many of them happen to be classics such as: THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger, THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie, the HARRY POTTER books by J.K. Rowling, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee, BLACK BOY by Richard Wright, and FOREVER by Judy Blume. (And these books are all FANTASTIC.)

When I skim through the stories behind banned book challenges, a common pattern arises: A parent is bothered or feels threatened by something in a book their child has access to, and so they launch a campaign to have that book removed from the classroom or library so no other children can have access to it. 

As a parent myself, I can understand why parents would want to screen their children's reading materials. And certainly, if a parent finds something they perceive as "questionable," they have the right as a parent to keep their own child away from it.  HOWEVER, I don't think it's fair for a parent to make that kind of decision for other people's children. That's where I have to draw the line.

There's lots of information out there on Banned Books Week. Here are a couple of web sites (and there are more out there):

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Online Auction to Fund Hurricane Irene Relief: Read for Relief

Since Hurricane Irene hit at the end of August, many of those affected still need assistance. So four awesome writers got together to run an online auction to help fund Hurricane Irene's relief efforts. The auction is called Read for Relief. Raised funds will go to the American Red Cross. Items up to be auctioned include signed books and critiques.  

I think the organizers are still accepting auction items, so if you're an industry professional and want to donate a service or product, check out the web site.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Books I Read In August

NO PASSENGERS BEYOND THIS POINT by Gennifer Choldenko (Middle Grade- Dial) Three siblings are on a plane flight to visit their uncle but end up in a mysterious, unexpected place.

SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater (Young Adult-Scholastic) A girl falls in love with a boy who is part-wolf.

THIS TREE, 1, 2, 3 by Alison Formento, Illust. by Sarah Snow (Picture Book- Albert Whitman) This counting book explores the environmental significance of a single tree and the animal and insect life inhabiting it. 

THE ARISTOBRATS by Jennifer Solow (Middle Grade-Sourcebooks Jabberwocky) Four best friends from New York's society scene aspire to maintain their popularity during eighth grade in spite of being assigned the "unpopular" job of working on the school's webcast.