Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

"Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment." - American Library Association  

To kick off, Banned Books Week, I am participating in a Giveaway Hop.  Thanks to Jen from I Read Banned Books and Kathy from I am a Reader. Not A Writer for hosting a Banned Books Giveaway Hop. The hop runs from Saturday, September 24th to Saturday, October 1st.

Though I recognize that in the United States, we do not usually have banned books, many amazing books are challenged or restricted on a regular basis.  What also shocks me is that books are frequently challenged by individuals or groups based on what they have heard about the book.  Some committees have even elected to remove a book from a school's librarian when they haven't even read the book in question.  In situations like that, I am always glad that there are librarians, teachers, parents and individuals who speak out on behalf of books.  Often times, loudly, and very passionately. 

Recently, I was in the situation where I was giving a group of people some examples of books that would fit in certain categories.  As I held up a book (Coraline, The Graphic Novel by Neil Gaiman), a woman in the audience exclaimed that the book I was holding was not for children.  I was a bit taken a back and tried to move on by stating that maybe it wasn't for very young children but that it was considered a Middle Grade novel.  The woman in the audience became more adamant that this was not a book for children and automatically assumed that I would agree with her.  While this exchange was happening, I could see several of the children's librarians in the room nearly jump out of their seats to defend this book. I was so proud of those librarians.

I bring this real life situation up because it is one example where an individual, if given the power, would have sought to take away from others their right to determine what book is appropriate for themselves or for their children.  This is really the key for me with Banned Books Week.  No one individual or group of individuals should take away the rights of many to have access to a book or a story just because they feel it has questionable material or a controversial topic.

I do; however, support parents' rights to decide which books their child is ready for or not ready for.  I would hope that even with more than one child at home that the criteria would reflect the individual personality differences of each child (one child at 9 might be ready for a book and another child at 9 is not ready).  Additionally, I would hope that parents respect their child as a reader and talk with their child about different books and decisions to read a book or not read a book at a particular time. 

Finally here are two resources for how you may learn more about Banned Books Week and even see how many challenged books you have already read. 
American Library Association

Banned Books Week

To kick off Banned Books Week, you have a chance to enter to win a Banned or Challenged book of your choice from Amazon - $15 or less. 

Rules for the Contest:

1. Please do not enter any personal information in the comments section (including your email, website, etc.), you must complete the Entry Form to officially enter the contest.
2.  The Contest runs from 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time on September 24, 2011 to 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on October 1st.
3.  You do not need to be a follower of this blog to enter, but if you like what you see, feel free to subscribe.
4.  You must be 13 or older to participate in this contest.
5.  Comments are not required but always welcome.
6.  If you are selected as a winner, I will notify you by e-mail.  If you do not respond within 48 hours, I will select a new winner.
7.  International participants are welcome to enter the contest.