ALA Banned Books Week, Sept 25-Oct 2, 2010

ALA_BBW_Poster_2010It’s Banned Books Week. What does that even mean? The American Library Association holds an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the first amendment.

Some heavy questions for you to ponder this week:

  • Is there a difference between a book not being age-appropriate and banning a book altogether?
  • Why do people object to books and try to have them banned?
  • Should one person’s objection to a book overpower the right of another person to read it?
  • Are there books from which students should be sheltered?
  • Is it ok to mark out ‘bad’ words or events in a library book because you don’t agree with them?
  • How does The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America relate to censorship and banning of books? “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Celebrate your freedom to read by creating a poster for Banned Books Week. Bring it to the Media Center for a prize. Every entry will receive a prize. The top three posters will receive a free book of their choice from our prize closet.

Some ideas for your poster (you are not limited to these, they’re just to help you start brainstorming)

  1. Choose a book that’s been banned to highlight
    1. Examples:
      1. Captain Underpants series
      2. A Wrinkle in Time
      3. Harry Potter Series
      4. Higher Power of Lucky
      5. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
      6. Bridge to Terabithia
      7. A Light in the Attic
      8. The Diary of a Young Girl
      9. Little Women
      10. Anastasia series
      11. Alice series
      12. Twilight saga
      13. The Giver
      14. The dictionary
  1. Select a quote about the freedom to read.
    1. Examples:
      1. “Censorship is crippling, negating, stifling. It should be unthinkable in a country like ours. Readers deserve to pick their own books.” –Norma Fox Mazur
      2. “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too” -Voltaire
      3. “The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen” –Tommy Smothers
      4. “Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.” –Alfred Whitney Griswold
      5. “Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.” –Heinrich Heine
      6. “The paper burns, but the words fly away.” –Akiba ben Joseph
      7. “Did you ever hear anyone say, ‘That work had better be banned because I might read it and it might be very damaging to me?’” –Joseph Henry Jackson
      8. “To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves.” –Claude-Adrien Helvetius
      9. “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” -Voltaire


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