This week (Sept 27th - Oct 3rd) is Banned Books Week. A banned or challenged book is one that has come under fire for various reasons. Sometimes libraries are asked to move a book to a different section (out of a teen section for example), to place a warning sticker on books considered "inappropriate," or they might be asked to remove a book from the library completely. The American Library Association keeps track of these attempts to ban/challenge books, here is a list of the top most challenged titles from 2014. The number one most challenged book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, also just happens to be one of my favorite books.
It's the story of Junior, a talented cartoonist, leaves his local school for better opportunites at a new school. However, Junior lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation so in leaving his reservation school he's also leaving his tribe for an all white school, "where the only other Indian is the school mascot." Junior has trouble fitting in at his new school and even more trouble at home on the reservation where his friends and family view his transfer as a betrayal.
Junior's life is made more complicated by physical limitations and family obligations. His story is deeply affecting and will make readers laugh and ugly cry. Sherman Alexie's writing is completely engrossing. Seriously, you won't be able to get enough, and why should you, he has written tons of amazing books!
This week, think about the books you've read that have really meant something to you. The books that stayed with you and helped shape the person you've become. I bet at least one of them is on the banned books lists. Join me! #IStandWithTheBanned!