I’ve got a post over at Book Riot today and wanted to link it over here and add a little bit more commentary. I’m talking about all of the challenges and book bannings that have happened over the last month.
I wanted to talk about this for a couple of reasons. First, I hate the idea that we celebrate banned books. I think it’s terrible we celebrate the banned books aspect, rather than celebrate the other angle to it, which is intellectual freedom. We need to celebrate the freedom to choose, rather than the items that become representative of what happens when that right is taken from us.
Second, I think it is important to consider how much attention the recent invitation-revoking and removal of Eleanor & Park from Anoka County has received — and where it’s come from. The impassioned pleas people have written in defense of the book and the author’s visit aren’t coming from within the book community. They aren’t coming from the library world or the publishing world. They’re coming from the main stream, including NPR and The Toast. I think this is incredibly important and it leaves me wondering what would happen if this sort of widespread attention could be given to the other books challenged or banned this month alone.
Note the range of books I’ve talked about, too: they all feature “outsiders.” Chew it over. Imagine what would happen if we got angry about all of this and were able to better shine light to it outside our own world, where we are well aware of this sort of thing happening. How do we keep grabbing wider attention?