Friday, September 23, 2011
It’s Banned Books Week!
Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States. American Librarian Association
My take on Banned Books:
I have a twelve-year old daughter who reads just as much if not more than I do. We share books, but there are certain YA books that she will definitely wait to read. Is it because I want them banned? NO. It’s because she’s not ready to handle some of the older YA content. But one day she will be. And I want her to have accessibility to these books. She’ll read them. I’ll encourage her to read them. And hopefully mother/daughter discourse will ensue.
There are so many valuable, wonderful, amazing books out there for teens—ones many should read. Just because of the slight explicit content in Thirteen Reasons Why should a library ban a book that I believe should be a required read for every freshman in high school? Just because teenagers who’ve only known each other for a week have sex, should Twenty Boy Summer be banned reading? Should candid discussions of sex be the reason Shut Out never makes it to a high school’s library shelf?
If you don’t like the content in a book, don’t read it. It’s rare for me not to finish a book, but this past summer, I had to. It was Precious by Sapphire, and the horrid molestation was too much for me to stomach. Life’s all about choices. And parents, if you’re concerned as to what your kid’s reading, then read with them. And while you’re at it, make sure you monitor every movie and television show and YouTube video and Xbox game and Facebook status . But don’t get a book banned from a library that could save another kid’s life. Like Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak. Or Ellen Hopkins' Crank.
This week, I am a Reader, Not a Writer and I Read Banned Books are hosting the Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop. And I’m giving away two books in honor of it. Two books that give honest portrayals of that awkward, harsh, vibrant, exhilarating period called the teenage years: The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Perfect.
Here’s a little more on each one.
Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie is navigating through the strange worlds of love, drugs, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", and dealing with the loss of a good friend and his favorite aunt.
I read, cried, and then reviewed this one sometime ago. You can check more out on this book here.
And since Ellen Hopkins is one of my favoritest authors, OF COURSE I'm going to give away one of hers!
Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there.
Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never have understood.
Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect?
A riveting and startling companion to the bestselling Impulse, Ellen Hopkins's Perfect exposes the harsh truths about what it takes to grow up and grow into our own skins, our own selves.
Ellen's seen her share of book banning. She even wrote a manifesto about it.
To you zealots and bigots and false
patriots who live in fear of discourse.
You screamers and banners and burners
who would force books
off shelves in your brand name
of greater good.
You say you're afraid for children,
innocents ripe for corruption
by perversion or sorcery on the page.
But sticks and stones do break
bones, and ignorance is no armor.
You do not speak for me,
and will not deny my kids magic
in favor of miracles.
You say you're afraid for America,
the red, white, and blue corroded
by terrorists, socialists, the sexually
confused. But we are a vast quilt
of patchwork cultures and multi-gendered
identities. You cannot speak for those
whose ancestors braved
You say you're afraid for God,
the living word eroded by Muhammed
and Darwin and Magdalene.
But the omnipotent sculptor of heaven
and earth designed intelligence.
Surely you dare not speak
for the father, who opens
his arms to all.
A word to the unwise.
Torch every book.
Char every page.
Burn every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear.
I'm giving away one copy of each book! To win, all you have to do is comment on this post. Extra entries can be obtained as follows:
+2 old follower of the blog
+1 new follower of the blog
+2 tweeting about the giveaway (@alisonmiller20)
And for the undying love of your favorite math geek, please tally your entries and mention that in the comments. Contest ends October 1 at 11:59 PM EST
PS - there are soooo many particpants! Check out the list at
I am a Reader Not a Writer or I Read Banned Books!
So, support Banned Books Week and try to win a banned book. And then read it!
I'll be celebrating my forbidden love all week. How about YOU?