Thursday, October 2, 2008

Celebrating "Banned Books Week"!

September 27 to October 4, 2008, is "Banned Books Week." Here is a great song in honor of Banned Books Week by Rocker Bob (aka Keith Lewis).

Mike sought out the #1 most-challenged book in the past two years, And Tango Makes Three, and checked it out of the library. It has a big red sticker on the front that says BANNED. I read it last night (three times, in fact) to the kids.

It's about the true story of two chinstrap penguins, Roy and Silo, in the Central Park Zoo, who see all the other penguin couples taking care of their eggs, which then hatch into babies. Wanting to get into the action, Roy and Silo found a big stone and put it into their own nest, but were disappointed that it didn't turn into a baby penguin. One of the zookeepers found an extra egg (another penguin always hatched two, but couldn't take care of both eggs) and put it in their nest. Voila. Instant penguin adoption! Tango was born, and Roy and Silo became daddy penguins.

Kieran and Nicholas loved the book, hence the request to read again and again. Here are the author and illustrator at a reading:

And here are some photos of the real-life Roy, Silo, and baby Tango:

In the mood to read a banned book yourself this week? Here's a list of the top ten banned books of 2007:

1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

2. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence

3. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language

4. The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
Reasons: Racism

6. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language

7. TTYL, by Lauren Myracle
easons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
Reasons: Sexually Explicit

9. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

10. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Read a banned book today to honor those who fight against censorship!

And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles. So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries. --Kurt Vonnegut

1 comment:

  1. Love, the Vonnegut quote, Marie! There's also a quote that, "If a public library is doing its job, it has something in it that offends every single person." So the people who want to push their own likes and dislikes on the rest of us are just being selfish and narrow-minded.