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27 September 2013 @ 10:49 am
Rationalizations  
Sometimes when I read about why a book is being challenged I do not know whether to laugh or cry. Most often I shake my head ruefully. See how you respond to this posting about 15 books that have been banned and teh reasons for the bannings: http://www.buzzfeed.com/harpercollins/15-books-banned-for-the-most-absurd-reasons-ever-9npd. Then, hop on over to the ALA Banned Books web site and read the reasons for the books that have been challenged and banned over the last 10 years, the last 50 years, and more: www.ala.org/bbooks.

And one more thing as we celebrate Banned Books Week, do not forget that behind each and every one of these incidents are REAL people. Teachers who have been bullied, threatened, and even fired. Librarians who have lost their jobs. And kids whio have lost the opportunity to read the books being removed. It is easy sometimes to forget that when we read about a challenge that someone has had to stand up and fight for that book. Occasionally, the person, that warrior, is defeated. And that makes it more difficult the next time a book is challneged.

During the Twitter chat this week (#nctechat) someone asked which books were we willing to go to the mat for? My response might seem simplistic, but I beleive we fight for each and every book. If I do not stand up for CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS how can I have firm ground when it comes to advocating for another book? When I went to Common Sense Media this morning (for another post I was writing about sites that limit access to books), I was astonished to see someone indicate a book could be somehow avoided as it did not possess literary value (at least from their perspective). This grates on my English teacher's nerves. I know the book in question. It had characters, plot, setting, conflcit, rising and falling action, and a conclusion. I could use it to teach any lesson, even one on close reading (shudder) if I so desired. Here is someone who deems it unworthy because it does not meet her or his standard for literary quality. Give me a break!

So, I stand up for the books. I am the Lorax's cousin; I speak for the books (and The Lorax is on the banned book list, too).
 
 
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