The official beginning of the 2007 Bookmark Challenge (October 1), when stitchers settle down to some serious reading and stitching, just happens to coincide with Banned Books Week, September 29-October 6. Earlier this year there was a Big Stink over the word “scrotum” appearing on page one of the Newbery-winning, The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron. This book will no doubt appear on the ALA list of the 10 Most Challenged Books of 2007. I’ve read the book and could only laugh at the hoopla. The scrotum on page one is completely a non-issue when taken in the context of the whole story. But that’s just my opinion.
Since the 2007 list doesn’t exist yet, I went to the 10 Most Challenged Books of 2006 list and have selected several of the Alice books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor as reading material for this week, to celebrate my freedom to choose reading material, and of course to celebrate Stitching for Literacy.
I’ve read some of the Alice books already, and I confess I was surprised to see the series on this list, but I think I’m easily surprised by people finding books offensive. It seems like such a no-brainer to me: We all have the choice to read or not read a book, but who are we to choose what others should or should not read? There are indeed books that I find offensive. I don’t read them. I wouldn’t stop you from reading them, though.
Can you guess what the most challenged book of 2006 was? And Tango Makes Three. It’s about two male penguins that nurture an egg that hatches into a chick. Opponents cite homosexuality, anti-family, and unsuitability for the age-group as reasons to ban the book. The best part is that this story is based on real-life incidents at the Central Park Zoo.
So what you say? Care to read a challenged book this week?