Archive for September 2013

Banned Book Week – September 22-28, 2013

September 25, 2013

What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist. Salman Rushdie

If there’s one American belief I hold above all others, it’s that those who would set themselves up in judgment on matters of what is “right” and what is “best” should be given no rest; that they should have to defend their behavior most stringently.
Stephen King

Although there are those who wish to ban my books because I have used language that is painful, I have chosen to use the language that was spoken during the period, for I refuse to whitewash history. The language was painful and life was painful for many African Americans, including my family.  I remember the pain.  Mildred D. Taylor, The Land

BBW_shortlist_120x180

I wonder if those who ban books read those books.  I wonder if those who ban books understand that banning a book just makes it that more desirable.  I wonder why anyone would think they are the ones who should decide what we read and what we should not read.  Sometimes I just wonder.

This week is Banned Book Week.  It’s a great topic to discuss with your students, your colleagues, your friends, and your family of readers.  If you are wondering what to read next, check out the list of banned books for 2013.  Check with your librarian for additional lists of banned books and probably lots of engaging activities that focus on banned books, censorship, and freedom.  Check out the ALA Store for products that call attention to banned books.

Ponder why any book might be censored or banned and to what purpose.

Freadom13Poster_11x17

Hunger Games Unit medium-645401-1

Resources

American Library Association

http://www.ala.org/bbooks/

American Library Association Store

http://www.alastore.ala.org/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=269

Banned Books Online

http://www.digital.library.upenn.edu/books/banned-books.html

Banned Books

http://www.adlerbooks.com/banned.html

Phillips Library-Aurora University

http://libguides.aurora.edu/content.php?pid=63503&sid=2134998

American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression

http://www.abffe.org/?page=BBWPosters

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Characters, Authors, Friends

September 11, 2013

Reading isn’t passive–I enter the story with the characters, breathe their air, feel their frustrations,
scream at them to stop when they’re
about to do something stupid, cry with
them, laugh with them.
Reading for me, is spending time with a friend.
A book is a friend.
You can never have too many.
Gary Paulsen

As I was reading yet another book by Victoria Huston, it struck me how much I enjoy her characters, her plots, and her writing.  And, how comfortable it is to read a book where you already know the characters and you can depend on a good story written in a style that resonates with your sense of good writing.  It’s like being friends with someone you don’t see on a regular basis, but when you do reconnect, you simply pick up where you left off.

I love when I discover a new author and take off on a path to locate every book he or she has written.  What’s better than finishing one book and picking up the same characters in the next book!  I just downloaded John Sanford’s latest book with Lucas Davenport, a character I have known for a long time.  Who is waiting for “W” (Sue Grafton) and finding out what Kinsey Millhone is doing?  Jack Reacher is still one of my favorite characters, so reading Lee Child is just a good time.

Then there are those books that are part of a series:  Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Lois Lowry’s series, culminating with Son, Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, Lord of the Rings, etc.  While I have never been one to reread books (I always feel like there are too many new books to read), I have two sons, now grown men, who would read and reread and reread their favorite series.  Now I have an eleven year old granddaughter who loves to reread her favorite books.

My theory is that we read books by the same authors, and sometimes reread those books because there is a feeling of comfort that emerges when we are among those characters, plots, and authors who become part of our reading life.  Simply, they are best friends and always available.  Who are your favorite authors and characters?

Many of the book we have featured in our Teachers Pay Teachers store are books that have become part of our reading world–whether it is the inspiration found in Wonder and Mockingbird or the adventure in The Hunger Games and Son, these are the type of books that leave an impression on both students and adults.

Hunger Games Unit medium-645401-1           Son Book cover      Mockingbird medium-776321-1     images


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