This week is Banned Books Week, designed for people to read and celebrate those books and authors once deemed too offensive for a reader's pysche, and remember that there are still people and organizations that try to keep books out of other people's hands. (Here's a list of the 10 Most Challenged Titles of 2011, if you can believe it.)
As part of that, various Raw Story editors are going to be weighing in on their experiences with banned books, and how reading voraciously (even the stuff we weren't supposed to) shaped our experiences and our thinking.
In the mean time, read this piece by author and high school librarian James Klise, who was invited to speak at a banned books event in Kansas before being disinvited because his young adult book was deemed worthy of banning.
- Here is Executive Editor Megan Carpentier's story about Lady Chatterley's Lover.
- Here is Managing Editor Kay Steiger's piece about Gossip Girl and abstinence-only sex education.
- Here is Senior Editor Stephen Webster's piece about being forced to participate in a book-burning.
- Here is Editor David Ferguson's piece about working in a bookstore, and how kids love reading about evil and suffering (especially if they are told not to do so).
- Here is Senior Editor Eric Dolan's piece about the research that reading explicit material doesn't actually cause teens to have sex.
- Here is Editor Arturo Garcia on how banning books is really about eliminating "challenges to the preferred narrative of the powerful" and further marginalizing the disempowered.
["Girl Peeking From The Books" on Shutterstock]