Ban This! Banned Books Reading Challenge

Steph Su and Donna at Bites have joined forces in the fight against censorship. Together, these ladies are spreading the word about banned books and are hoping that we'll all join in. Steph Su is even hosting a reading challenge to further this cause. I'm signing up with this post and I hope that you'll all join in, too.

As a teacher, this cause is dear to my heart. I don't know that I would've made it through my pre-teen and teen years without some of the books and authors that are frequently banned/ challenged. When I hear about challenges to books like those written by Ellen Hopkins, Chris Crutcher and Laurie Halse Anderson, I get scared. There are kids who need to read Crank. There are certainly boys who need Chris Crutcher. And, I teach Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I can definitely tell you that kids need that book.

Why? Because these books talk about reality. They bring up issues that teens face every day. Maybe they are not books that every kid needs to read, but there are girls who are raped at parties, there are teen boys who are treated as outcasts, and there are kids who become addicted to drugs. (And it's not always the ones you'd suspect, either.)

I want to keep these books on my shelves. I want to teach them. I want to recommend a book to a teen who I think it. Maybe it'll start a conversation. If not with me, then maybe a parent. Or a counselor. Or a friend. Because that's what books do. They start conversations and make people feel like they're not alone.

I am going to join in this challenge. I'm also going to offer a giveaway of a controversial book. I'll announce that later. Right now, I'm going to read. Something wicked real.