YA Authors Cafe
Karin Gillespie takes the Fly Survey

I Read Banned Books

Ireadbannedbooks_2Banned books week, babies!
What can you do to speak out in favor of intellectual freedom?

Here are some itty bitty things to do:
Check out the AS IF website.
Add As If! on myspace.
Contribute to the dialog on banned books at the Teen Lit group on myspace.
Swipe the button, above (made by the ALA) and post it on your blog.

Some slightly bigger things you can do:
Bring up Banned Books Week with your English teacher and ask if your class can have a discussion about the subject.

Talk to your local YA librarian or the librarian at your school and see if there's a possibility of inviting Chris Crutcher to speak in your area. He's an inspiring lecturer, and very funny, and speaks passionately and convincingly on the subject.

Read one 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

Or even just start by checking one of those books out of your library and read it. Forever is romantic; the Chocolate War is thrilling; The Bluest Eye is thought-provoking; Lord of the Flies is terrifying.

Then share the with a friend. And spend three minutes talking to each other about why you think it might have been banned.
That's free. And you'll have read a dang good book.
You'll also have made a tiny difference in the world -- opening up your mind, and your friend's.
Those tiny differences add up.

Happy reading!