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Intellectual Freedom

More on Brent Hartinger's novel Geography Club and how it's been pulled from some school shelves, on Cynthia Leitich Smith's blog. There's also an interview with Hartinger on the subject, in which he explains why gay books matter so very much.

What can you do to speak out in favor of intellectual freedom?
You can check out the AS IF website, and you can buy Hartinger's book. Or some of these teen novels from the American Library Association's list of most-often banned books:

Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Deenie, by Judy Blume
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
Forever, by Judy Blume
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman, by Paul Zindel
Lord of the Flies, by Wiliam Golding
Running Loose by Chris Crutcher

Give them as Christmas or Hannukah presents (or presents for your holiday celebration, whatever it may be!) and tell the recipient you support intellecual freedom!

Or if you haven't got cash to spare, do as Cynthia suggests (especially if you've read Geography Club!) and write a letter of support to Hartinger's local paper, which is covering the situation.

Or even just start by checking one of those books out of your library (I suggest The Outsiders, if you don't already know it -- never a dull moment, I promise) and read it.
Then share it with a friend. And spend three minutes talking to each other about why you think it might be banned.
That's free. And it's a dang good book.
And you'll have made a tiny difference in the world -- opening up your mind, and your friend's.
Those tiny differences add up.

Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for many things, but among them good books and the freedom to read them whenever and however I choose.

PS. I Heart Banned Books picture designed by and borrowed from Literaticat.