Sunday, September 25, 2016

What I'm Reading for Banned Books Week

Celebrating the Freedom to Read: September 25- October 1, 2016

HELLOOOO friends, today marks the beginning of banned book week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Caz with is hosting a banned book read-a-thon. And I will be hosting a banned book reading sprint on Twitter from 6-9pm on Wednesday evening eastern daylight time. If you're not familiar, a reading sprint is when a group of people intentionally set aside a specific time to focus on reading. I very much hope you will be able to "sprint" with me this coming Wednesday. If you choose to accept this challenge, I will be live Tweeting during the event @BrittanygReads and using the hashtag #BannedBooksWeek

Without further ado, here are the books I will be reading this week and the reasons they have been been challenged. 

1. The Awakening by Kate Chopin 

Up and coming author Kate Chopin entire sacrificed her writing career to bring us The Awakening. Widely considered a feminist classic and on many required reading lists today, the book was censored when first published in 1899 and banished for decades until being rediscovered in the 1960's. The Awakening has been called "morbid, vulgar, disagreeable, and scandalous". 

2. To Kill A Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird received the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. Though it has been called classic literature, the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, still remains frequently challenged. Profanity, racial content, and rape references have led people to challenge this book to be removed from classrooms and libraries.

3. Harry Potter and The Sourcer's Stone
In 2012 the American Library Association said the Harry Potter books were the most frequently banned books in America. Banned for content related to witchcraft and sorcery, including detailed depictions of potions and other hocus pocus - Harry is alright with me. 

4. Beloved, by Toni Morrison 

A stunningly beautiful novel about a horrific experience in and escape from slavery in Kentucky. And a gut wrenching topic of whether or not there is ever a good enough reason for a mother to kill her own child. Reasons for attempted bans on this book include sexual material, violence, bestiality, language, and other"inappropriate topics". This book has been challenged in classrooms across the country, but the only school where it was successfully banned was... Kentucky. 

5. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Published in 1952 and immediately considered a masterpiece, Invisible Man has been banned from schools for language and sexual content. The book addresses many issues facing African-Americans during the early in the twentieth century, including black nationalism and the relationship between black identity and Marxism.

I do hope you'll be able to join me this Wednesday for a reading sprint.  Please post your favorite banned books down below!

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