Has censorship happened to you? How do you feel about it?
A world Gallup poll asked teens about their views on censorship when it comes to school and choices of music, movies and computer use. According to the teens who responded, some censorship is okay. Do you agree? Leave a comment to tell us your views.
Here are the poll results (Click on image to enlarge)
One of my favorite authors is Gail Giles , author of amazing books like Playing in Traffic and just this month, Dark Song. I met Gail when she was keynote speaker at the Colorado Teen Literature Conference a few years ago. Gail is, by her own words, a little old lady. She has grey hair and plump cheeks, and she’s not very tall. She is sweet, speaks quietly, and gentle. You would never guess that she has these books inside of her!
Gail’s first book for teens is called Shattering Glass. It starts like this: Simon Glass was easy to hate. I never knew exactly why, there was too much to pick from. I guess, really, we each hated him for a different reason, but we didn’t realize it until the day we killed him. It was challenged in 2008 because of language, not because it’s about teenagers murdering one of their classmates.
My favorite Gail Giles book is Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters. It’s about a girl named Sunny whose older sister, Jazz, was killed in an apartment fire. Sunny is only barely holding her family together when Jazz sends a letter to say she wasn’t in that fire and is coming home the next day. But when Jazz arrives, the girl who shows up is not Jazz, it is a girl who looks like Jazz and acts like Jazz, but just isn’t Jazz.
All of Gail’s books deal with the horrible – What Happened to Cass McBride is about a mean girl who is buried alive and must talk her way out of her own grave. Right Behind You is about a boy reentering society after intentionally set his friend on fire. Dark Song is about a girl who becomes the “bad girl rebel” when her parents destroy her life. I haven’t finished it yet but I am afraid she is going to use the gun her boyfriend has provided.
Books like those by Gail Giles, and many other authors, often get challenged or banned, especially in schools. I feel that books like this are entertaining reads because they are so far out of the reality of my own life. I would not do the things Gail’s characters do, but it is delicious to think about those situations and how they might play out.
What books do you read because you would never live that life?
A book that many of us have read and loved is currently being challenged!
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is currently under fire by Wesley Scroggins, an associate professor of management at Missouri State University. Wesley wrote an opinion piece in the News-Leader of Springfield, Mo., in which he characterized Speak as filthy and immoral. Then he called it “soft pornography” because of two rape scenes.
Laurie Halse Anderson says, "My fear is that good-hearted people in Scroggins’ community will read his piece and believe what he says. And then they will complain to the school board. And then the book will be pulled and then all those kids who might have found truth and support in the book will be denied that. In addition, all the kids who have healthy emotional lives but who hate reading, will miss the chance to enjoy a book that might change their opinion."
Read more about this on Laurie Halse Anderson’s blog.
You can also hear her read her poem in response to reader comments about Speak on her blog. The poem is called "Listen."
Banned Books Week! Celebrate Your Freedom to Read!
The 29th Annual Banned Books Week begins today and the JCPL Teen Blog will be posting about it all week!
What is Banned Books Week and why is it important? BBW is a celebration of your freedom to read, your freedom of speech, and your freedom to make your own choices about where you get your information. It is firmly rooted in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas wrote in 1953 that the “restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.”
The theme this year is “Think for yourself and let others do the same.” The blog posts during BBW will all be about challenges to books that have come up recently or reviews on some of your favorite books that have been banned or challenged across the country.
Did you know:
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling has been challenged, banned, and BURNED because some people believe the books promote witchcraft?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is challenged almost every year and has been removed from a classroom because a parent objected to the language used in the novel?
Or that two parents from California demanded that The Giver by Lois Lowry be removed from the school reading lists and the libraries because they were appalled by descriptions of adolescent pill-popping, suicide, and lethal injections given to babies and the elderly?
Why are some books banned or challenged? YA author Judy Blume says, “I believe that censorship grows out of fear, and because fear is contagious, some parents are easily swayed. Book banning satisfies their need to feel in control of their children’s lives. This fear is often disguised as moral outrage. They want to believe that if their children don’t read about it, their children won’t know about it. And if they don’t know about it, it won’t happen.”
For more information on Banned Books Week or a list of books that have been challenged or banned and why, visit http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/ or visit your local library for more information.
Check it out—Meg Cabot and Neil Gaiman wrote the first lines of their new novellas. Then the remainder of the books were written by the editors and some regular folks like us contributing through Twitter.
If you welcome zombie encounters, listen to Meg Cabot’s new book written with the Twitterverse. It’s called Fashionably Undead.
You can also access Culture Pass anytime by going to the “Kids and Teens” tab on the library homepage and entering the Teen Pages. Under the “Chill” section, look for the “Just for Fun” link. Once you click that, the Culture Pass Program is right under the girl in the stripped shirt as the Featured item. Then, all you need to do is:
Select your museum and the day you want to go
Enter the number of passes you want, your name and your library card number
Confirm and submit your info
Print your pass!
If you need to cancel a reservation, just give us a call at 303-235-5275. Please have your library card number ready.
Favorite sport to watch: College Basketball! Rock Chalk Jayhawks! (University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan.)
Favorite sport to do: Is walking a sport?
Favorite food to make: anything easy…!
Favorite food: Tacos (I think)
Places outside the U.S. I would like to go: France and Austria
Places I have lived (not necessarily in order): Wichita, Emporia, and Lawrence – all in Kansas; the Denver area – Colorado; the Chicago area – Illinois; San Francisco area – California; Seattle area – Washington
Do I have a pet? Not currently. I used to have a dog, a Sheltie, and more recently a cat named Riley – Riley the cat now lives with my son.
More questions? Come by and see me at the Reference Desk at Evergreen Library!
This week's Entertainment Weekly has the results of an interesting poll: who do you think should play Katniss (and Peeta and Gale and Haymitch, etc., etc.) in the Hunger Games movie? While EW's poll is closed, we'd like to know what YOU think. Right here. Right now. Tell us in the comments section who you think would make a killer Katniss, the perfect Peeta, a great Gale, and...well, a humdinger of a Haymitch? Hmmmmmm...Maybe not. However poorly my alliteration experiment went, I'm inclined to agree with the results of the EW poll for Haymitch: House's Hugh Laurie all the way!!!
And MTV is reporting that Gary Ross, Sam Mendes and David Slade (of Eclipse fame) are all shortlisted for directing Hunger Games.
Six of your teen librarians dyed their hair since you guys made our summer reading goals! We thought you would like to see the results.
(click above for a slideshow)
We even made the evening news!
Thanks to Paul Mitchell The School and all the stylists who worked on us. And a huge thank you to the Jefferson County Public Library Foundation for sponsoring the Summer Reading Club (and buying us all pizza!)