To-Read Tuesday [Banned Books edition]

27/09/2011 § 2 Comments

In honor of Banned and Challenged Books Week (Sept 24-Oct 1), we’d like to share some of our new and old banned favorites with you! Join in the conversation in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ and spread the word during this fantastic week to celebrate the freedom to read!

Heidi

  • Favorite: I can’t pick one! I’d have to say Native Son by Richard Wright, Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
  • Reading this week: Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson and Lord of the Flies by William Golding and I’m also leading a Banned/Challenged Books Book Discussion at my library.

Julia

  • Favorite: one of the more famous banned books: Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I love it so much I have this t-shirt. Also George Orwell’s 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. These three books are incredible, and I could write a super long list of other ones I like too.
  • Reading this week: One of the unfortunate side effects of doctoral studies is that I don’t really get to read pleasure books except for about 5 minutes before bed, and since my brain is so mushy by the time I crawl into bed I’ve just started reading kids’ books. Right now it’s Grimm’s Fairy Tales, which I’m sure in one of its many incarnations has been banned at some point.
Rose
  • Favorite: I also can’t choose just one!  Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison: in college, I took a class on just this book.  blew. my. mind.  The Awakening by Kate Chopin: I haven’t read this book since high school, but I still remember the heated discussion our class had over the ending. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell: Seriously, how could you ban penguins?
  • Reading this week:  I think we should be reading banned books all year long! This week I’m not reading a banned book because I’m too caught up with a recent release (The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson) that I just can’t put down! I wouldn’t be surprised if someone eventually challenged it.
Britt
  • Favorite: Oh, man… Maybe it’s a cliche, but Catcher in the Rye seriously changed the course of my life.  Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden are also up there.  When I was in middle school the librarian went out of her way to order these for me from the high school library, so I have a soft spot for the intellectual freedom implications.  I wasn’t really ready for them then, but when I re-read them as an adult, I was floored.  It was spiritual.
  • Reading this week: I’m re-reading Julia Mickenberg, Philip Nel, and Jack Zipes’s Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature.  Julia Mickenberg also wrote Learning from the Left: Children’s Literature, the Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States, and she’s a big favorite. Little Rebels contains a huge collection of radical kid’s lit organized by theme from the early 1900s on, reproduced in facsimiles, with author/illustrator bios and some critical commentary.  Political challenges aren’t as sexy as they used to be, but it’s oh-so-good!  The Marxist abecedarian alone is worth a look.
Rebecca
  • Favorite: My all-time favorite books are Grapes of Wrath, The Handmaid’s Tale, and To Kill A Mockingbird all of which were, surprisingly, assigned reading in high school.  I went to a fairly liberal private high school where we were encouraged to question authority and engage critically with assignments.  I would probably not the book lover I am today without these one.
  • Reading this week: The Hunger Games because I’m co-planning a huge event for the public library for the movie release in March.  (For the record, I am and will always be Team Gale!)
Annie
  • Favorite: I have a few favorites but among them are: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (she’s one of my favorite authors) and The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. After I read The Jungle, I didn’t eat hot dogs for YEARS. I read it in middle school and it opened my eyes to the way workers were treated pre-union days.
  • Reading this week: Not sure! My student group is doing a Banned Books event and we’re reading out from our banned book of choice. I might choose Heart of Darkness.

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