It's BANNED BOOKS WEEK! What's banned book week? ALA has a fabulous write up about this event here and a complete list of banned books from the 21st century here. It's this list of Classic Banned Books that astounds me and makes me want to scratch my head and go "really?!" Some of these books include historical events, like Gone With the Wind and The Grapes of Wrath.
Banned Books Week is a week we at Mundie Moms proudly sponsor (you can read all about last year's celebrations here), because as parents we feel no one has the right to tell our children what to read, but we the parent. Reading is FREEDOM. It's freedom to express ourselves, it's freedom in learning and imagination and most importantly reading allows us to feel befriended, comforted, empowered, heard, understood, makes us feel like we belong, and it gives us a voice and a place to escape to. No one has the right to take that away.
Ignorance isn't always bliss, and Book Banning is often times fueled by ignorance. Why? Because more often than not the book that gets banned is voted on by people who have not read it. I mean at least one person has read, but the rest of the group hasn't always. Now, I'm not saying a parent does not have the right to say "My child should not read this book". That's a parent's responsibility and I fully 100% feel a parent has the right to make that decision for THEIR CHILD. I put that in b0ld, because here's were my passion for this issues lies, No parent, teacher, administrator etc has the right to make that decision for everyone else's children, especially MINE. At all. They do not know my child the way I do and therefore do not have the right to assume a certain book is inappropriate for them, but I do. I know what my kids can and can't handle.
Each of us comes from completely different back grounds, religious beliefs, cultures and so forth. Diversity is what makes us, well us. No two people are alike, and no two people have the same experiences. They may experience similar things, but they're never exactly the same, which is similar to reading a book. No two people are going to get the same thing out of the same book. No two people grow up with the same childhood either. I grew up in loving environment, but my dear old friend "Jane" grew up in a home that was anything than loving. Maybe if she had the opportunity to read a book by Ellen Hopkins or Cheryl Rainfield, it would have helped her overcome the horrendous, unthinkable, unimaginable things she was dealing with. Who's to say that if I had read a book like theirs growing up I might have had more of an insight to what my friend was dealing with so I could have understood her situation more. A book like that would have helped her, and that's what truly matters.
No one can ever understand things like abuse of any kind, or rape unless they themselves have experienced it and survived it. I know people who have dwelt with both, and in regards to rape maybe a book like SPEAK would have empowered them and helped them find their voice instead of feeling ashamed about what happened to them. It wasn't their fault. I know that and a book like that would have helped them understand that as well. Books are powerful and they speak to each of us on different levels. Just because a book contains subject matter that I don't agree does not mean it doesn't have subject matter that someone else needs to read. You never know when a book will give someone the voice and comfort they so desperately need, especially when no one else around them is listening to them or paying attention to them or understands them and what they're dealing with and going through. No one has the right to take the away.
Now that I've raved on longer than I meant to it's on to THE GIVEAWAY & Hop information!
To kick off our week long celebration of Banned Books we've joined the Banned Book Week Hop hosted by Kathy from I Am A Read, Not A Writer and Jen from I Read Banned Books.
I'm giving away one of my favorites from the Banned Books list:
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Originally released on March 29th, 1993
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
TO ENTER to win:
- Leave me a comment letting me know what your favorite banned book is along with your 1st name and email address
- This giveaway ends on October 1st, 2011 and the winner will be announced on Sunday October 2nd, 2011
- 1 comment per person, please
- This is open internationally, but international shipping rules apply
Go HERE to get the complete list of the over 250 bloggers who are participating in this hop. Each of these stops is hosting a giveaway that goes along with book banning.
Don't forget to go check out the NEW BANNED BOOKS WEEK site!