8 Replies to “The right to read, the right to think, the right to express opinions”

  1. You said it!

    “Celebrate the Freedom to Read.” Indeed. So many of us take this freedom for granted. Though I am saddened that Banned Books Week must exist, I am grateful for the chance to call attention to the actions of a few that threaten the literary freedoms of many.

    Kim Wheedleton

  2. Hello,

    I am in my third year of Graduate School through the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, striving for a Master’s in Library Science. This Term I am taking Library Materials for Young Adults and our required book for this week was Speak.

    I’m not sure how much I loved the book, but it was an enjoyable read. My only advice is to no read it when you have PMS. I lost count of the number of times it made me cry. Our class has been having some interesting discussions of the book, including the symbolism used, such as Melinda’s ability to consistently make foul shots and the reason(s) for her putting up the Maya Angelou poster in the closet.

    I must say that it is wonderful that Melinda finally finds her voice. Did the other students, besides Rachel, ever find out about the rape? I hope that something vile happened to Andy because of the attack.

    I enjoy these classes because they force me to read books that are outside my preferred zone. I like fantasy books like the Heralds of Valdemar or the Warriors series.

    Thank you for writing such a powerful, moving book. I am glad that I read it, even if it wouldn’t have been my choice to read on my own. I would like to be an author someday, though my interest lies in children’s books. I fact, in 2005 I published a book for middle grade through PublishAmerica. But then school started and I don’t have time to work on my writing projects.

    Take care,

    Laura (literary_dragon on livejournal)

  3. There’s a poster I once saw that said:
    Censorship causes blindness
    It’s written like an eye chart you see at the eye doctors (cause I can spell the fancy name). Sometimes I think the best result of banning YA books is that it makes a lot of teenagers more likely to read them. But at the same time I don’t agree with censorship. Lets face it, it’s not really much different from burning books.

  4. I do a lesson with my 6th graders every year on book banning. I show them some books for kids their age that are frequently challenged or banned and we discuss the reasons why, the repercussions of censorship, who the censors are, etc. Often the kids get angry and find it hard to believe. But the censors are out there, lurking, and often they look like somebody’s mom or aunt. Believe it or not, this year we had a parent who wanted books on orphans removed from all the libraries in our school district. Why? Because her daughter was adopted and those books might traumatize her. We had to point out that if we removed every book in our collection about an orphan, that would mean removing books such as The Boxcar Children, Heidi, The BFG, A Series of Unfortunate Events, etc. The meeting with the parent was cancelled. I work as a school library media specialist and this is an issue I’m ready to take arms for.

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