Friday, September 23, 2011


Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop is sponsored by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and I Read Banned Books and runs from Sep. 24th through Oct. 1st.
Read on for a chance to win a FREE book!

Can you name last year's Top 10 Most Challenged Books?

Challenged books? Oh, you thought this post was about banned books, right? Well, yes and no. The American Library Association receives hundreds of "challenges" each year. According to the ALA website, "A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials (from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others), based upon the objections of a person or group.  A banning is the removal of those materials." Thanks to librarians, teachers, parents and other concerned citizens, most challenges do not result in a book being banned. There is another word for these challenges and bans:  CENSORSHIP.

Enter giveaway HERE!!!

Those who attempt to ban books (usually in an effort to protect children from age inappropriate content) often mean well. However, according to the Library Bill of Rights, “...parents—and only parents—have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children—and only their children—to library resources.” Attempts to restrict free speech (including books) violates the First Amendment. (For more information about censorship and Banned Books Week, please visit the ALA Website.)

Some of the authors on the most frequently challenged books list of the past decade surprised even me:  Maurice Sendak, Dav Pilkey, Katherine Paterson, John Steinbeck, Harper Lee and Mark Twain. Some of the books on the list were written before I was born, before my parents or even grandparents were born! (Give them a rest already!) Many titles are Newbery Award winning books.

Enter giveaway HERE!!

As an author myself, I affirm my constitutional right to free speech. Don't misunderstand me. Many books do contain explicit content that many families may find inappropriate or offensive. This is why I also advocate a parent's right and responsibility to be the gatekeeper for their own children. Parents should know what their kids are reading and be willing to set limits within the walls of their own homes. However, parents also should read what their kids are reading and be willing to discuss these books with their kids, even "offensive" books that may actually address issues of concern to today's youth.

In honor of Banned Books Week, I am giving away a copy of Ellen Hopkins' book CRANK inspired by her own daughter's addiction to crystal meth.  If you'd like more information, visit Ellen's website. Ellen's books are consistently on the challenged books list.

To enter the giveaway, please complete the entry form HERE. Then stop by the other participating websites listed below.  In the meantime, have you ever read a banned or challenged book? If so, which one(s)? Where do you weigh in on this issue? I'd love to know!

P.S. The Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2010 were:  1) And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson; 2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie; 3) Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley; 4) Crank, by Ellen Hopkins; 5) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins; 6) Lush, by Natasha Friend; 7) What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones; 8) Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich; 9) Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie; 10) Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer


  1. Thanks for the giveaway! Count me in!

  2. I wear my "I Read Banned Books," button with pride. Sad that narrow minded people still spend such negative energy toward lit.

  3. I would love to win!! Thanks for participation in the giveaway!!


  4. thanks for this great giveaway !

  5. great blog hop! thanks!

  6. I've been wanting to read this book forever! Thanks for the giveaway! :)


  7. wow when i went to school they were on the required list to read, thanks for having this tour.

  8. Wonderfully informative post. I am surprised at how many people admittedly would request books to be removed from school libraries if they felt they were not appropriate for their child. But I agree that it is the parent's responsibility to monitor what THEIR child reads and not limit what my child and other children have access to.

    Donna @ The Happy Booker
    ahappybooker at gmail dot com

  9. I love that you referenced actual evidence from the Library Bill of Rights! Awesome giveaway - love Ellen. And nice to meet you from SCBWI :)

  10. Stopping by to say thx for hopping with us this year!


  11. Thanks for taking part in this giveaway!!

  12. It's the parents responsibility to decide which books their child can read, not censor books for everyone. You might not like what's on my TBR list, I might abhor yours. Our First Amendment Freedom is vital!
    Best wishes and thanks for being part of the Banned Books Week Giveaway Blog Hop!

  13. This sounds like such an interesting book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Thank you for an awesome giveaway!!

  15. There were so many "enter giveaway here" links that I got all discombobulated! haha thanks for the offering!

    Pabkins @ Mission to Read

  16. Thanks for participating in the blog hop.

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  17. I'd love to win a copy of Crank!

    I wish I'd known about the Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop sooner.

    I'm also giving away a challenged book on my blog this week - One of those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones:

    On Beyond Words & Pictures

  18. Thanks for this amazing giveaway - I would love to win! I don't think any books should be banned - people should be able to read what they want to read. I loved the Hunger Games trilogy and many others on the banned list because they were very thought-provoking!

    susanw28 (at) mindspring (dot) com

  19. I don't think anyone has the right to tell anyone what they can or cannot read (except parents for their young kids, or course). I've read some books on the banned/challenged list and am making it a point to read more. Thank you for taking part in the hop and for the excellent giveaway :)


  20. Banned and challenged – both make me angry. I didn't realize what Crank was based on. Thank you for sharing that. And thank you for the giveaway!

  21. Thanks for the great giveaway supporting Banned Books...

  22. Thanks for the chance! Great book to giveaway for Banned Books Week. Looking forward to reading all Ellen Hopkins books!

  23. I just re read the Harry Potter Series and Speak!

  24. I have a load of banned books I need to read: Brave New World, Color Purple, and more!

  25. Thank you so much for the giveaway - please count me in! :D

  26. I read books, banned or not, because they are good -- not because of their content. My favorite banned book is "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway. alicia.ebaugh at gmail dot com

  27. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Here's Mine. Hope you'll stop by and enter as well: Read Banned Books Week Hop and Giveaway

  28. Thanks for the giveaway :)
    Ellen Hopkins' books have been on my TBR list.
    I've read several banned books:
    . Animal Farm
    . Lord of the Flies
    . Uncle Tom's Cabin

    I am totally against banning/censorship. Adults should have the freedom to choose what they read.

  29. One of my top ten favorites, The Pillars of the Earth, has been challenged/banned. I believe that no book should be kept from the public. If a parent does not want their child reading something, then they should restrict their child, not ruin things for everyone else.

  30. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! Love the Catcher in the Rye