September 28, 2009

The Freedom to Read by Diane of The Book Resort

I am out of the country at my sister's wedding in India with a quick stop in London on the way back! While I am gone some lovely bloggers have stopped by with guest posts! Woohoo!

Today Diane from The Book Resort shares with us why we should never ban books and how we can rally together and fight censorship. Be sure to check some related links at the end of the post. Thanks, Diane!

September 26-October 3, 2009
Banned Books Week (September 26 - October 3, 2009) is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to an unexpected deluge in the number of challenges to books in schools, libraries & bookstores.

As an insatiable reader, I find the act of book-banning to be categorically reprehensible.

Banning &/or restricting books will result in the deterioration of our cerebral stature in the universe.

How on earth can we be more than what we are if we are unable to read, let alone have access, to books that touch our hearts,stir our souls, move our spirits & stimulate our minds by creating absorbing discussions & provocative debates?

Why are classics still being challenged after all of these years? Why are author web site's blocked from a school district because of its subject matter? I am not talking XXX either, folks.

The essence of the author seems to an abomination just because s/he is expressing themselves or exercising their First Amendment. Hello! Archaic much?

Why are so many petrified by the written word? Is it fear of the unknown? Perhaps.

I believe it is the old adage, Knowledge is Power! Bottom line, the more you know, the more power you have & that terrifies a diverse assortment of humankind.

So, why do censors feel the need to challenge books, movies, music?

What gives individuals the authority to deny someone access to beliefs, dreams & reflections they may discover in a book? Nothing does. So nothing or nobody should.

If you don't want your brother/sister/cousin/child to read something don't let them! It is as simple as that; after all, it is your choice.

What I abhor is when a persons fear consumes not only them but everyone around them.
I believe wholeheartedly NO ONE INDIVIDUAL should be able to tell other members of society what they can or cannot read.

I ask, who wants to live in a country where books are banned? I certainly don't!
So, what is it that we can do to end censorship?

~ Read some of the books that have been challenged.

~ Speak up about censorship.

~ Support the writer's who are being censored &/or challenged:

Ellen Hopkins, J.K. Rowling, Toni Morrison, Laurie Halse Anderson, JD Salinger, Paul Zindel, Maureen Johnson,Chris Crutcher Mark Twain, Harper Lee, John Steinbeck, Jack London,Sarah S. Brannen, Cecily von Ziegesar, Ernest Hemingway,Stephen Chbosky, and George Orwell just to name a few.


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
But we are a vast quilt
of patchwork cultures and multi-gendered
. You cannot speak for those
whose ancestors braved
different seas.
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.

Ellen Hopkins,
bestselling author of Crank and newly published

My Best & Happy Reading!

Thanks for sharing this with us, Diane! I am a big fan of the un-ban! The great news is that Diane has started you thinking about banned books. On Thursday, October 1, another blogger will be visiting to share with you some more about banned books. Down with Censorship!

I will be in India for 2 weeks. Pleas be sure to come back tomorrow for another fab guest post! See you soon!

P.S. Diane and I would like to share with you some videos having to do with Banned Books Week. I hope you enjoy!

Ellen Hopkins: "Burn every word--ideas are incombustable!" The Manifesto

Katie Couric's Notebook: "Banned Books Week" (CBS News)

100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1900-2000 by Gottesman Library

2008 Banned Books Week Read-Out Put on my the ALA


  1. Excellent post -- very thought-provoking!

  2. I can't for the life of me understand the concept of "banned books." I mean... what? We have the power to choose what we read and what we don't read. That's it. End of story. (Pardon the pun!)

  3. Great post Diane! I think people who seek to ban books have very little faith in their own beliefs, ideas, and God.

    aka The Southern Half of Evelyn David

  4. I totally agree! Books about difficult or controversial subjects are great for starting meaningful discussions. I think people would open their minds they'd find that their children are more capable of making good decisions than they think.

  5. I guess people are scared that if their children read banned books they'll be negatively influenced. ha! it just doesn't make sense how banning "books" will do solve that issue. MTV and reality TV shows have it on 24hours. The only thing banning books does do is steal someone else's opportunity.

  6. Amen- what a fiery and exciting post! Makes me want to read something really The Lorax or James and the Giant Peach...

  7. Well done, Diane. Excellent points and I love the passion you have for this topic.

    No one person should be able to dictate what others can or can not read. I love Banned Books!

  8. Working in a library at a middle school I face this all of the time!!! Ellen Hopkins is awesome and I just finished Tricks which I think is her best yet! Excellent post to kick -off Banned Books Week!!!

  9. Hi, Heidi ~

    I am all for banned books & believe no one has the right to tell others what to read. If they don't want their child to read somethig fine but don't parent my child &/or family memeber.

    Hi, Jess ~

    You said it, girl! End. Of. Story.

    Hi, Lauren ~

    Thank you. I believe it is just wrong on so many levels!

    Hi, Rhonda ~

    You hit the nail, Rhonda, I love ... "very little faith in their own beliefs, ideas, and God." well said. Thank you.

    Hi, Kathy ~

    I totally agree. People need to open their minds. The response will surprise & enlighten so many. Thank you!

    Hi, Yan ~

    Wow... bring it... "MTV and reality TV shows have it on 24hours. The only thing banning books does do is steal someone else's opportunity." Thank you for saying it the way it is, Yan. The good 'ole realuty shows & MTV speak volumes. Ppl need to take off their blinders. FAST!

    Hi,Sharazad ~

    Thank you so much. Can't wait to read yours :]. I hope you do reach for a banned book & James & the Giant Peach sounds like a good one to read this week. Thanks 4 the recommendation.

    Hi, Christina ~

    You are too kind. This is definitely a passion of mine. This really gets me going, Christina. Lack of knowledge causes so much drama ~ we need to breathe, discuss & become more educated.

    Thank you all for your gr8 sentiments.

    I read banned books! I love them!

  10. very well said! the idea baffles me. thank goodness that we *can* still read banned books!

  11. when i hear about the ellen hopkins thing i was soooo mad! gah people who ban books are just ignorant. I guess they're afraid of what we might do with that knowledge but still it gives them no right to tell us what to read. Great post!

  12. Great post, Diane! I agree with you whole heartedly!
    When I held Sex in Teen Lit Month back in July, there was some discussion on censorship that people may be interested to read.

  13. I couldn't agree with you more. I think that, as parents, our job is to teach our children to make good decisions with the knowledge that they have. Our job is not to hide things from them because we don't trust them to make good choices. How do you think that makes kids feel knowing that something has been forbidden? Probably, makes them more curious about it.

  14. I believe this too.

    "I believe wholeheartedly NO ONE INDIVIDUAL should be able to tell other members of society what they can or cannot read."

    Everyone is perfectly capable to choose what they want to read.

  15. Thank you, Cindy!Thank goodness we can still read banned books is right!

    Hi, Jo. I remember your fun week & thanks for the link.

    Thank you, Tracie, for the kind words. I agree w/ you on this "makes them more curious about it." I was one of those kids & am still one of those adults. lol.

    Aw, Ella, thank you so much!


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