Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy Banned Books Week -- September 22nd - 28th to All!!

What are you doing this week to celebrate Banned Books Week? I'm choosing to read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou this week to celebrate Banned Books Week.

According to the Wikipedia page for 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings', it states the following information:
Caged Bird has been criticized by many parents, causing it to be removed from school curricula and library shelves. According to the National Coalition Against Censorship, parents and schools have objected to the book's depictions of lesbianism, premarital cohabitation, pornography, and violence.[117] Some have been critical of its sexually explicit scenes, use of language, and irreverent religious depictions.[118] The book is challenging for young readers and some adults, so educators have stressed the importance of preparing teachers to introduce the book effectively.[17] Caged Bird appeared third on the American Library Association (ALA) list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000,[119] sixth on the ALA's 2000–2009 list,[120] and one of the ten books most frequently banned from high school and junior high school libraries and classrooms.[121]

I read 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' for the first time my junior year of high school for a contemporary literature class. I really enjoyed reading 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' at the time and Maya Angelou has since become one of my favorite authors. I've had the honor of seeing her speak live before an audience twice in my lifetime. What a wonderful experience I had hearing Dr. Angelou speak and what an amazing woman she is!

In high school, I wasn't even aware at the time that 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' was even a banned book. I'm not even sure I knew what a banned book was back then as naive as that might sound to those reading this post. I'm simply grateful that my high school was progressive enough to allow teachers to teach this book and many other books that have also been banned over the years to their students.

I'm currently on page 120 of  'I know Why the Caged Bird Sings' and look forward to finishing it later this week. Until my next post, happy reading!

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