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Tattered cover banned book essay contest

Tattered cover banned book essay contest

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Banned Books Week: September 24-October 1, 2005

Post navigation Banned Books Week: September 24-October 1, 2005

“Banned Books Week (BBW) celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.” — American Library Association Web site [link ]

This site along with many others offers background information about banned or challenged books. You can also find a list of the 100 most frequently challenged adult and children’s books of 1990-2000 at [link ]

Banned Books Online [http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books/banned-books.html] offers an essay discussing banned books with a section devoted to children’s books.

Our own Web site on challenged children’s books [http://www.library.uiuc.edu/edx/challenged.htm] provides a listing of children’s books with summaries categorized by format: picture books, children’s books (including early readers and chapter books), and young adult books.

Exploring challenged/banned books will offer insights into what is controversial at different times in society as well as what issues remain controversial over extended periods. Read, explore, and think!

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All the images on the S-Collection pages are used with the kind permission of Children's Books Online: The Rosetta Project. the largest online collection of illustrated antique children's books. The S-Collection logo is made up of letters from alphabet books in the Rosetta Project's collection.

Banned Books Week 56!

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NCAC Announces Winning Cameron Post Essay

NCAC Announces Winning Cameron Post Essay

The Cape Henlopen School Board took emily m. danforth’s critically-acclaimed novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post off the summer reading list for 9th grade students. ostensibly for containing a word that rhymes with duck – then, facing controversy, decided to ditch the summer reading list altogether. NCAC asked students in Delaware to submit essays explaining to the School Board the importance of having books like Cameron Post on school reading lists.

“We were overwhelmed and inspired by the submissions we received,” said NCAC Executive Director Joan Bertin. “The essays showed that teenagers can be mature and thoughtful in their approach to books that some adults consider controversial and inappropriate. They also suggest that these students have a greater appreciation and respect for the value of literature and intellectual freedom than some members of the school board, who voted to remove the book as a summer reading option without having read it.” Winning students received cash prizes of $250, $150, and $100, respectively, made possible by a generous donation from Rob Spicer, the father of a gay Cape Henlopen graduate.

1st Place Winner Hannah Lowe's Essay

The Miseducation of Cape Henlopen High School

It is the natural instinct for adults to look out for children; to shield young people from what grown-ups view as evil in the world. However, this parental guidance can grow into over protection – and in no case more so than the Cape Henlopen Board of Education removing The Miseducation of Cameron Post from the freshman summer reading list.

Cameron Post. by emily m. danforth, tells the story of a young lesbian navigating the stormy seas of adolescence. It highlights homophobia and intolerance in Montana, while artfully abstaining from glorifying the protagonists or vilifying the antagonists. While the Board can be forgiven for balking at some of the content – swearing, teenage sexuality, underage drinking and smoking – the removal of the book from the list was a poor decision.

The official reason for the censorship of Cameron Post is "Obscenity". During the deciding meetings on the controversy, damning excerpts were read: passages from the book featuring a host of colorful swears and inappropriate content. The novel was made out to be the perfect manual for corrupting teens. However, the passages used to illustrate Cameron Post’s “obscenity” were taken out of context, twisted into a dishonest portrayal of a book that offers profound observations on life and morality, a complex story of sin and virtue in the teenage world.

In addition: there was, without a shadow of doubt, a religious and personal agenda furthered by those involved in the controversy. Beliefs were expressed that have no place in public schools; education is not the playing field for personal, political, or religious ideologies. Teenagers do not appreciate our educations being turned into battlegrounds for opposing opinions, especially when we are never consulted or our voices heard.

Finally, while adults may be uncomfortable with literature that accurately portrays the formative years of modern youth, teenagers find characters with which we identify. In such literature as Cameron Post. we read ourselves speaking back to us through the pages, telling us how they sorted through the problems we share. In novels such asCameron Post. dealing with sexual identity, questioning teens see portrayals of people like them – a very encouraging thing for a young, queer teen. Parents reading the book might also be led to an understanding of their LGBTQ+ child, as well. Unfortunately, this content can be offensive to certain groups in our community. These close-minded people leap into action to censor our literature, without realizing that we benefit from reading it, and that they cannot censor the world around us. All that censorship will provide is a lack of relatable literature.

In conclusion, the removal of The Miseducation of Cameron Post was a mistake. It was a decision that sets us back as community and teaches young people intolerance instead of acceptance. Censorship allows prejudice to flourish instead of diminish. After all, narrowing the world of media for teens will only narrow the world we grow up to create.

To read the rest of the winning essays, visit NCAC's website. where this post originally apperared.

Fallen Angles Banned Book - Essay - 991 Words

Fallen Angles Banned Book

Fallen Angles
Have you ever be interested in the topic of war? Fallen Angels is a book about just that, the Vietnam War to be exact. The main character’s name is Perry, a soldier who was drafted into the military in the 1960’s. In 2002, Fallen Angels was banned in some middle schools “for offensive language, racism, violence, and being unsuited to age group.” People think the book has too much profanity and drug use. Fallen Angels should not be banned because it tells young people the history of America. It gives examples of what the soldiers went through each and every day. There are numerous examples of offensive language through out “Fallen Angles”. Some people think this is a bad thing, they think younger people in middle school and some high schools kids shouldn’t be aloud to read this. The soldiers didn’t only use swear words they also used phrases. An example of this is right after Johnson got done fighting with Jenkins Perry was telling him it wasn’t smart because he is so little and this response was “ No Shit”.(Myers’ p30) A few times in the book the word fu*k is used. Even though its not used bad towards someone it should not be read by younger people. The language in this book is correct to the time period though And people can learn a valuable lesson form reading this novel. “Fallen angles” has a lot of racism in it. The n word is used a lot though out the novel. The life of the black soldiers is shown as less valuable as the life of a white solider. In the beginning of the book when the platoon is being assembled the entire platoon is made of young black men and right away they are sent into the heat of battle. After Perrys platoon leader died in a firefight Lieutenant Gearhart took over. He was a white guy who thought just because he was white he was better then his fellow black soldiers. He would have the other soldiers go into bad situations where they could have easily died. They didn’t like this too much so they would not listen to him.

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Banned Books Week 2014

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Banned book week essay format

Banned book week

Happy Banned Book Week. This week we celebrate the freedom to read freely: a cornerstone of democratic society, an essential right for the development of arts and sciences, and a central source of pleasure in my life. We sympathize with all the curious persons who continue to live in places where their reading choices are controlled by others. Read what you want! Read anything you want!

The what, the why, and the wherefore

As you can imagine, the American Library Association has a thoughtful piece about book banning. Librarians in general, being among the finest of humans, believe passionately in free access to ideas of all kinds. These are some of my fave quotesfrom their page:

“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.” Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. in Texas v. Johnson

“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.” Noam Chomsky.

These days, most of the people trying to ban books from libraries are parents trying to restrict their children’s reading by restricting everyone else’s. I thought that’s what communes were for.

A personal note

I learned to read when I was about 4. My parents think I taught myself, but I think my older brother taught me. He would have been 7 and learning to read in school and would never keep such a fantabulous thing to himself. One of the first books I remember reading was My Father’s Dragon. by Ruth Stiles Gannet. I loved dragons. When the librarian in the children’s room at the Houston Public Library taught me to use the card catalog, I read all the books involving dragons. I also read Andrew Lang’s collections of fairy tales: The Green Fairy Book, the Blue Fairy Book, etc. Screw reality, seemed to be my early reading policy. (It just occurred to me that the symbol of Gray’s Inn is a gryphon, another fabulous beast. Hm…)

I don’t remember anyone ever taking a book away from me. I don’t imagine it would have gone well, if they had. I read everything that wandered into my midst, including dozens of Louis L’Amour novels when my dad went on a Western kick and the complete works of Isaac Asimov when my brother discovered science fiction. Nobody said, “Those books are for adults; here, take this pribbling children’s book instead.” Nobody said, “That book is too fantastical for your feeble young mind.” My social scientist parents, as far as I remember, exercised no control whatsoever over my reading, unless you count taking me to the library every other week as a form of control. My father is and was always a voracious and eclectic reader; I simply followed in his wake.

The sixteenth century

Religion, politics, and ideology were all much of a muchness in the Tudor and Stuart periods. They had recurring problems with satire, an ever-popular tool for criticizing governments. (George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was banned in the Soviet Union from 1950-1990. He must have loved that!)

Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus was banned all over Europe, including England in 1512, the year of its publication. “Praise of Folly, written to amuse his friend Sir Thomas More, is Erasmus’s best known work. Its dazzling mixture of fantasy and satire is narrated by a personification of Folly, dressed as a jester, who celebrates youth, pleasure, drunkenness and sexual desire, and goes on to lambast human pretensions, foibles and frailties, to mock theologians and monks and to praise the ‘folly’ of simple Christian piety.” Claremont Colleges Library.

That Claremont Colleges Library link takes you to a list of books banned in the 16th century. Not surprisingly, Machiavelli’s The Prince is on it, but it wasn’t banned in England until just before Elizabeth’s death in 1602. She probably enjoyed it herself and wouldn’t have been threatened by it.

Francois Rabelais was banned in his own time and country as well as in River City. (The Music Man, remember? She reads dirty books!)

The Discoverie of Witchcraft by Reginald Scot was banned in England in 1584 and again in 1603. “The author held that the prosecution of those accused of witchcraft was contrary to the dictates of reason as well as of religion.” Ay-yup. Bacon said, “Let us wait and see if their witchcraft actually works.”

Last, to my surprise, Francis Bacon’s Advancement of Learning was banned by the Spanish Inquisition in 1640 (long after his death.) This is his comprehensive catalog of what is known and what ought to be studied and how that study ought to proceed. He goes to great lengths to explain that God is the one made us smart and therefore obviously wants us to do research, but that wasn’t good enough for the Spanish. “No thinking!” They shouted. “Deja de pensar!”

Go forth and read widely

Get out there and read some banned books this week, y’all. I plan to start with Erasmus and Rabelais’ Pantagruel. You can find a more contemporary list at Wikipedia. Try The Canterbury Tales (obscenity) or James Joyce’s Ulysses (more obscenity). Or how about Alice in Wonderland. banned in China for its portrayal of anthropomorphized animals acting on the same level of complexity as human beings.

Man, that is inscrutable!