Library Week

It is National Library Week! I went to the public library today and finally met Martha, the amazing Teen Librarian at Springfield City Library. ūüôā That’s celebration-worthy.

In celebration of National Library Week, that American Library Association puts out the list of the Top 10 Banned/Challenged books of the past year. The top 10 books for 2014 are:

1)      The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: ‚Äúdepictions of bullying‚ÄĚ

2)      Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: ‚Äúpolitically, racially, and socially offensive,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúgraphic depictions‚ÄĚ

3)      And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: ‚Äúpromotes the homosexual agenda‚ÄĚ

4)      The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: ‚Äúcontains controversial issues‚ÄĚ

5)      It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris

Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: ‚Äúalleges it child pornography‚ÄĚ

6)      Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group. Additional reasons:

7)      The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence

8)      The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: ‚Äúdate rape and masturbation‚ÄĚ

9)      A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard

Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

10)  Drama, by Raina Telgemeier

Reasons: sexually explicit

I’m not surprised about most of this list. I’ve read some of these titles and know of the rest. I highly recommend¬†The Perks of Being a Wallflower¬†for anyone who likes the Rocky Horror Picture Show. If you read it, you’ll understand why.

I am, however, very surprised at Drama being on this list.¬†Drama¬†is a graphic novel, geared for ages 10-14. I read it and loved it. I like the author and have read a few of her graphic novels.¬†Drama¬†is 240 pages of awkward theatre geekery that happens to have a gay character or two. It is a Stonewall Honor Book. There is nothing sexual. There is some hand-holding and a kiss or two. I agree with GeekDad’s post¬†that¬†‚Äúsexually explicit‚ÄĚ is weasel-speak for ‚Äúthere are gay characters in the book.‚Ä̬†

This is especially important with GSLEN’s Day of Silence fast approaching on Friday. “GLSENs Day of Silence is a national day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.”¬†I participated in Day of Silence when I was in high school and I am proud to support my students in it now.

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Please note the book Pink over my right shoulder is a Stonewall Award Winner.

I wish that people would just get along. Even if you don’t like someone or their beliefs/lifestyle, just be nice. It doesn’t cost you anything to be nice, or at least, not a jerk. Don’t hurt other people. Live and let live.¬†

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