Monday, September 29, 2008

A Contest for Banned Books Week!

Did you know that the last week in September is always named "Banned Books Week" by the American Library Association? Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year:

"Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2008, marks BBW's 27th anniversary (September 27 through October 4).

"BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

"BBW is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, National Association of College Stores, and is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress."

Want to know more about BBW? Click here.

In honor of Banned Books Week, I'm holding a contest this week to celebrate! Because, honestly, as an author myself, I cannot imagine someone else passing judgement on my works to the extent that they decide someone else should not be able to read them.

Want to enter my contest? It's easy. Every day this week, I'm going to be blogging about a book I've read that's listed as one of the Top 100 Banned Books 1990-2000. Every comment you leave on my blog this week will earn you a contest entry. Even better: add the title of a book you've read, also from this list, and your thoughts on it, and I'll give you a second contest entry.

What can you win? A download of my novel One Night in Memphis, plus your choice from my overflowing library of gently loved books, and a really cool hand-beaded key chain (a crafty friend just hooked me up with some lovely ones).

I'll draw names randomly from all contest entries and announce 2 winners - yes, 2! - right here on Saturday, October 4th. This week, let's celebrate the wonderful freedom we enjoy to read whatever books we choose - and encourage others to continue to allow this freedom to exist!


Today's Banned Book: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

I first read this book in my 7th grade English class. We later watched the movie (starring a young Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Ralph Macchio, Matt Dillon, C. Thomas Howell., Emilio Estevez...just thinking about that cast makes me want to go out and rent the movie again). I thought - and still think - it's a terrific portrayal of teenagers trying to figure themselves out and fit in despite society and class differences keeping them down. Best of all, it was written by a 17-year old girl!

Why was it banned? Well, I'm guessing because it focused on kids from broken homes and talked about drugs and alcohol. There's also some violence and profanity. I don't remember any of that from 7th grade, though. I just remember loving the story.


mld said...

Land of the Free - Banned Books - for me that just doesn't seem to be referring to the same country. So glad you reminded me of The Outsiders - it has been so many years since I read that book but now I want to read it and watch the movie again, Going to add many of those banned books to my reading list.

Marianne Arkins said...

Didn't read the book, but saw the movie. You're right about the amazing cast! LOL...

I took a look, and have only read 12 of the books (and some were forced upon me like "Of Mice and Men" ugh).

I do admit to limiting my DDs reading (for instance, she wants to read "Goosebumps" -- on the banned list -- and I don't let her, not so much because of the content, but because she scares easily and then I have to deal with the nightmares!), but when she's old enough to understand all the stuff, she's welcome to read whatever.

Dru said...

I still don't understand the need or want to ban books from being read.

To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorite books and my guess for banning this book is because of race, rape and denied justice.

Mom said...

I'm always amazed at the books that end up on these lists. I've read several of those listed but will mention Zendak's In the Night Kitchen, since I was a pre-school and elementary school teacher. I assume it is on the list because the illustrations are anatomically correct, and someone decided that was offensive!

Amy said...

14 read The Outsiders last year in school. And he was amazed I'd read it at the same age!

I just don't get how some people feel taking away someone else's choices is okay. If YOU don't want to read something? Hey, don't read it.


Liza said...

I loved The Outsiders when I read it in 7th grade and loved it just as much if not more when I re-read it a few years ago with my oldest niece. I'll have to go look at the list, but I know I've read many from the list.

Liz said...

Yes, I remember reading The Outsiders and the movie too.
Since I mention Brave New World by Aldous Huxley over at my blog in regards to the current economic crisis - I'll pick that one for today -.

angie said...

why should books be banned they are there to be read or listened too
im dyslexic and i have always read books but before i got my programme i used to miss words out or just skip them because the words was dancing
with my programmes i now have a whole new world to explore

mamasand2 said...

Allie, after reading that list I am stunned. I loved The Outsiders and many more on that list. This is totally ridiculous.

sandie * shaking head in disbelief *

mamasand2 said...

Will soneone please explain to me how a classic like "5.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain" could be on this list.
That is a well read and much loved classic. I loved it too.

sandie * stunned *

Anonymous said...

I saw the movie The Outsiders
The one book that I read that I think is still banned in most libaries is Fanny Hill by John Cleland. He wrote if over 200 years ago and it is still pretty steamy.


Ebook Addict said...

Outsiders is probably my all time favorite book banned or not -- I've red the book dozens of times and watched the movie just as many I'm sure:-) It has my favorite poem of all time by Robert Frost.

Natures First Green is Gold
Her hardest hue to hold
her early leaf a flower
but only so an hour
then leaf subsides to leaf
so eden sank to grief
Nothing gold can stay.

Ebook Addict said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wow, I feel stupid. I was in a bookstore this weekend and they had a Banned Books display with several titles that had been banned. I had never heard of such a week, but I am not surprised. People always have their nose stuck where it does not belong. Anyway, I checked a couple groups and found out about several blogs and contests because of this week. Learn something new everyday, I guess. :)


J.K. Coi said...

Oh, I read the Outsiders as a school project. I hope that doesn't mean that it got my teacher in trouble...