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September 30, 2008

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Sarah S.

This is fascinating. Thank you for drawing attention to this.

Some of my favorite lower and middle school authors are on the most-frequently-challenged list (Dahl! Blume! Paterson!). I'm hopeful that, as you note, the number of challenged books only continues to decrease.

As for 2007's challenges to sex talk, I'm stumped on how to make these discussions (explorations?) more "acceptable". Maybe if more adults (and especially parents - who, according to the ALA link, were the most likely to challenge) come to grips with their sexual selves, the less likely they will fear the public debate.

Dan Kleinman

Re BBW, see also http://preview.tinyurl.com/sowell for another view.

Kathy Stanchi

Thanks, Dan. Interesting view. I still tend to think that Banned Books Week is more than "shameless propoganda" for two reasons. One, we should remember that in the past, books have been banned, and for not good reasons. Knowledge of history is good for us (maybe that's why we won't make the same mistakes). Two, the books that are challenged for being "age inappropriate" mean that the challenging parents think that no one's kids of that age should see the book. They are not simply saying that they don't want their kids to see the book. That kind of universalizing of your opinion about certain reading material is troubling to me, and certainly is a kind of censorship.
PS My public library in Southern NJ carries Limbaugh's books (3 books). They also carry Audre Lorde (1 book). As I often do, I find that the accusations of "reverse discrimination" from the right simply don't hold water.

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