It's Banned Book Week--that one week a year when I go out of my way to read books that have been banned for one reason or another. Today I'm reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. (Talk about inappropriate!) I might follow it up with something by Judy Blume--just about anything as she's popular with book challengers. Maybe Forever or Are You There God? It's Me Margaret. Or I may stick with the picture books, say In the Night Kitchen. (It shows a naked baby, you know!) Yahoo New! listed banned books including: Captain Underpants; The Lord of the Rings; Fahrenheit 451 (I love it that Fahrenheit 451 made the cut); Harry Potter series; The Great Gilly Hopkins; James and the Giant Peach; Grimm's Fairy Tales and 2--TWO--dictionaries: The American Heritage Dictionary ("69--of course!); and Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary.
In banning those dictionaries were the sanctimonious they making a blanket statement that all words should be banned....What did they used to announce the proposed ban? Smoke Signals?
Banned Book Week (BBW) is held the last week in September (this year Sept 25-Oct. 1). It's purpose is to celebrate the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of committed booksellers, community activists, teachers, and librarians many of the challenged books do not get banned. The American Library Association (ALA) maintains lists of challenged books, including a list of the top 10 most challenged books for each year.
Check the lists. Along with being "the most challenged" notice how the books on these lists are also tops on sales lists! For a book, getting banned or even challenged is sexy! It's hot! Banned books get read and reread and passed around until the covers fall off and we have to tape the pages back in place. We especially love reading the ones we have to sneak out of the store or library in a brown paper wrapper. Look what it did for the 1956 naughty Peyton Place--60,000 copies within the first ten days of its release and 59 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.
The Fantastics is the longest running musical of all time, and my personal fav. It's about a boy, a girl, their fathers, love, and a wall. One of the songs in the show, "The Minute That We Say NO" featured the two fathers singing about how all they have to get their kids to do something is to say No! "Why did the kids put beans in their ears/no one can hear with beans in their ears/after a while the reason appears/they did it cause we said "NO." Look what an official NO! did for the Peyton Place?
I want a NO! So I'm asking...I'm begging...would somebody please do me and my books a humongous favor and BAN them...Come on, at least try it! (Like in horseshoes and hand gernades, "challenged" counts. ) There has to be something ban-able about a girl with 2 fathers? What about two-steppin' in a dance hall? Or a boy acting wild and raising a ruckus? Surely someone is against naked goldfish? Naked captive goldfish?
Go ahead, Ban my Books. I dare you....I double dare you...I triple dog dare you....