Showing posts with label Banned Books Week. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Banned Books Week. Show all posts

September 23, 2013

It's Banned Books Week

For Banned Books Week, Enslow's series Authors of Banned Books contains five titles, each of which contains a brief biography of a banned author.

Some people have contended that the Harry Potter books endorse witchcraft, and that children should not read them. The author, Joan Vos MacDonald, analyzes the books and explores both sides of the argument over censorship.

John Steinbeck's life and several of his most controversial works are analyzed by author Maurene J. Hinds. The history of book censorship is explored to help readers understand both sides of the debate.

Madeleine L'Engle's titles have been banned because they endorse an occult philosophy. Author Marilyn McClellan discusses L'Engle's work, life, and beliefs, while looking at both sides of this censorship debate.

Michelle M. Houle discusses Mark Twain's life and times, analyzes two of his best-known books, and explores both sides of the censorship argument. There is a great deal of controversy over whether his books should be taught in schools because of Twain's language and attitudes in his writing, which reflect a more racist time in the history of this country.

Wendy Hart Beckman discusses the life of Robert Cormier, analyzes three of his books, and helps readers understand both sides of the censorship debate.

Each of these titles include a page of discussion questions, giving the reader ideas for discussing these books with their classmates and peers.

All of these titles are available from your preferred vendor, independent bookstore,, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

September 26, 2012

Celebrating Robert Cormier: Author of Banned Books

To celebrate the American Library Association's upcoming Banned Books Week, we're writing about Authors of Banned Books for each post this week.

Today, our spotlight is on Robert Cormier. Cormier, an American author who lived 1925 - 2000, was a lifelong writer most famous for the bestsellers The Chocolate War, I Am the Cheese, and After the First Death.

Cormier's most well-known novel, The Chocolate War, has been appearing on the ALA's top 10 list of most challenged books for over a decade.  While The Chocolate War has been hailed as a profound and beautifully written book for the teen audience; the novel's explicit language, sexuality, and anti-establishment tone have made it the target of frequent ban or censorship attempts.

To find out more about either Robert Cormier or the many challenges faced by his books, check out Enslow Publishers' Robert Cormier: Banned, Challenged, and Censored, by Wendy Hart Beckman provides a thorough biography of Robert Cormier and a full discussion of why The Chocolate War and Cormier's books were banned or challenged.

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September 25, 2012

To Ban or Not to Ban Mark Twain's Works

As a look-ahead to the upcoming recognition of Banned Books Week, let's briefly consider Mark Twain's issues in this arena. Some of the author's works, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, outraged certain groups for the books' treatment of race, social mores, and personal character. A considerable portion of Twain's literary and commercial publishing career involved dealing with these and other charges. Over the decades since the publication of Twain's principal works, some of Twain's antagonists demanded the removal his titles from library shelves or offered highly negative, influential criticism of his books. Twain has also had his share of advocates, who have defended his right to write or his perspective on specific topics.

This episode in American literary and social history is a fascinating one, filled with intriguing personalities and contemporary relevance. Enslow Publishers' "Authors of Banned Books" series features writers who have struggled with censorship and book banning. Mark Twain: Banned, Challenged, and Censored provides a thoughtful, age-appropriate perspective on the issues and individuals associated with Twain's controversial works. Author Michelle M. Houle's 160-page book includes a rich lode of source material, further reading options, and succinct definitions of key terms that frame a consideration of censorship and banning.

Mark Twain: Banned, Challenged, and Censored is available in a library-bound edition for $25.95; the price represents a 25% discount from Enslow's list price for this title.