Sep 28, 2010
It's a long episode for us, as we talk about a few upcoming events, and then launch into a lively discussion of Banned Books Weeks, aided by reader and listener voicemails, emails and blog comments. Please listen to the episode and let us know what you think. If you're reading this in an RSS reader, the link to play the audio is at the bottom of the post. If you are reading this by email, please click through to booksonthenightstand.com to listen.
Ann is hosting an online discussion of The Poisonwood Bible, Tuesday October 5th at 9:30pm EST. You may call in by phone, join in a text chat, or use a computer microphone to talk along -- or you can just listen, but where's the fun in that? To join us, visit the Books on the Nightstand Talkshoe community and click "join this call".
Many of you have requested a Halloween-themed show, which we'd like to do as a listener call-in show. Please call our voicemail line, (209) 867-7323 with your favorite spooky reads. We'll be recording this ahead, so please call in by October 13th. That show will air on October 20th.
And don't forget about the Books on the Nightstand Weekend Retreat, April 8-10, 2011. Please make sure to fill out our registration form once you've committed to attending. We need an accurate headcount for space and facility planning.
It's Banned Books Week in the US (9/25 - 10/2, 2010), and we thank you all for contributing your thoughts about banned books. For more information on banned and challenged books, please visit the American Library Association Banned Books website.
We thank all of you for your voicemails, emails, comments and calls on the topic of banned books. This episode runs a little long (about 34 minutes), but I think it's worth the time.
Melissa left a note on our Goodreads group to let us know that Canadian Freedom to Read week is in February. More information on that can be found on the Freedom to Read website. Robin emailed to say that her favorite banned book is To Kill a Mockingbird, and Linda called in from Ohio to tell us a story about Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War being removed from a school classroom. The Chocolate War is one of my favorite books ever, so this made me very sad.
Vanessa's commented on our blog that Judy Blume's Blubber and Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret are two books that she loves that are frequently challenged, and Kate left a comment to share her views on accessibility of controversial books in school libraries vs. public libraries. Thank you both for your blog comments! Also in the comments, Tanya shared her thoughts about age-appropriateness and book challenges.
In preparation for Banned Books Week, Michael read The Giver by Lois Lowry, which is also a favorite of mine. Michael tells the story of one mother's attempt to have this book removed from schools because, as she says, “This book is negative. I read it. I don’t see the academic value in it. Everything presented to the kids should be positive or historical, not negative.” (read more about this here).
Ann recently read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, which is a book that has become central to the banned books discussion this year. In a blog post, Halse Anderson mentioned that her book was under attack in a Missouri school district. The Springfield News-Leader newspaper ran an editorial by Wesley Scroggins that called for the removal of Speak (and other books) from the local school curricula.
Shannon called in her favorite banned book, The Harry Potter series. In an interesting voicemail, Kristen told us about her favorite banned book (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn), but she also called in to share a story that she read in Library Journal, about a librarian who was upset that a book was shelved about a book on the Young Adult shelf, so she repeatedly checked the book out to herself, or relocated the book.
Carol, a librarian from the Saxton Free Library in Connecticut blogged her thoughts about Banned Books Week from the library's perspective. Carol's favorite banned book is Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree.
And lastly, Esther from Israel left a post in our Goodreads group that we found interesting, about the differences in censorship in her country. Thanks for the international perspective, Esther!
We'll be back next week with a "regular" episode, including "Two books we can't wait for you to read."