Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Friday, September 23, 2011

Let 's get virtual with Banned Books Week this year!

Tomorrow is the official start of Banned Books Week(which runs from September 24 to October 1),that special time of the year where readers and book providers remind everyone about the importance of not taking freedom of speech and free choice of reading material too lightly.

For 2011,a new high tech approach is being taken to get the word out. The folks behind BBW are encouraging video contributions for a Virtual Read Out available on YouTube. What they're looking for are brief clips of people reading aloud from a banned book for a minimum of two minutes.

A good number of VRO videos are now online,some officially submitted to the BBW YouTube channel and others taking the initiative on their own.

For your listening pleasure,I have gathered up a few that I find to be particularly note worthy as well as good recommendations for reading this week.

First up is And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson,with lovely illustrations by Henry Cole. This charming penguin tale is being read here by a librarian who is kind enough to hold up the book so that the artwork can be viewed along with the excerpt. Hard to believe that such a nice story about penguin love can cause so much ruckus,isn't it folks?:

Next on our Virtual Read Out list is To Kill a Mockingbird,Harper Lee's now classic tale of small town racism and the search for justice.

Despite it's Pulitzer Prize winning status,not to mention the ground breaking film adaptation which won three Academy Awards,this book is still under fire today.

I finally took the time to read it last summer and was thrilled to discover the intimate portrait of that time and place that Harper Lee invoked and it's relevancy to our modern world.

A pair of teens from the Arlington County Library are reading from this one and despite the noise in the background,Atticus' speech and the power of his words are being clearly heard:

We have a double dip into George Orwell for our next pair of videos. YA author Sarah Darer Littman does a reading from Animal Farm,that farmyard allegory of how a new regime doesn't also mean a new attitude when it comes to making things better for everyone.

To bookend that,Martin Prince not only reads a section from 1984,he also gives a bit of background info regarding the censorship history surrounding this book.

These two titles may seem like standard high school fare but there are many folks out there determined not to let young adults even get a whiff of the notions in either one of them:



If you're interested in seeing more of these videos,please check out the official YouTube channel
or simply see what other celebrated yet censored titles are being showcased there.

Also,keep in mind that while most of the groups trying to yank books off of school and city library shelves claim that it's all about "protecting the children",they will not stop only there. If they could bar adults from any book that provokes thought or discusses ideas that they don't approve of,they happily would.

Our freedom to read is an important aspect of our country and society,which should be protected for the children so that they can hold that banner high for their own kids in the future:

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