BBW: And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell & Justin Richardson

And Tango Makes Three is actually not an young adult book. It’s not even an adult book. It’s a picture book. Yupp, that’s right – a picture book is one of ALA’s most frequently challenged books. It boggles my mind that a picture book could cause that much controversy; especially this one! It’s such a cute story.

REASONS FOR CHALLENGES/BANNING

And Tango Makes Three has been on the most frequently challenged books list in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. It was in the top ten for 2006 (#1), 2007 (#1), 2008 (#1), and 2009 (#2). The authors have been on the most frequently challenged authors list in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. The book comes in at number 4 in the Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009 list. Reasons for challenges? Homosexuality, tries to indoctrinate children about homosexuality, unsuitable for age group, anti-ethnic, anti-family, religious viewpoint, and sexism.

OVERVIEW…beware of possible spoilers


And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell & Justin Richardson
ISBN-13: 9-780689-878459 picture book; April 2005; 32 pg; Simon & Schuster

Ok, this one is crazy guys. And Tango Makes Three is a picture book about penguins (and is based on a true story). Basically, two male penguins at the zoo are quite close – in love. When they notice all the female/male pairs of penguins making nests and having eggs, they try too. The zookeeper, seeing how sad the penguins are because they cannot have an egg of their own, gives them an abandoned one to hatch and raise. The baby, is Tango (the title makes sense, now :P).

Most of the reasons for this book being challenged/banned go hand in hand, so lets take a look:

Homosexuality, tries to indoctrinate children about homosexuality: First of all, people keep using that word – indoctrinate. To quote my favourite movie: “I do not think it means, what you think it means.”* Second, this is the part where I throw out a bit of research. Luckily, I’m doing my philosophy of education presentation on the topic of indoctrination (in the classroom). One of my articles states this: “Indoctrination means the imposing upon a captive child the body of doctrines held by the teacher.”** No where does this book indoctrinate children about homosexuality. Yes, the two main characters are male penguins, who hatch an egg together. All the othe penguins? Male/female pairs. If the authors were trying to indoctrinate children, would not all the penguins be male/male or female/female pairs? Lastly, I can’t even comprehend that homosexuality is still a reason for challenging/banning books (according to ALA, the most stated reason). Love is love. Worry about yourself before you worry about other people.

Anti-ethnic, anti-family, and sexism: Ummm…they’re penguins. How can you be anti-ethnic, with penguins? I’m very confused. And anti-family? The whole book is all about family! How the two penguins want a child of their own, and all the other penguin pairs raising their own baby penguins. Oh wait…this ties back in to the homosexuality reason, doesn’t it, and family being a mom, dad, 2.5 kids, a dog and a white picket fence? I’m still a little unsure just how the term sexism is being applied in this instance.

And my two favourites (yea right), unsuitable for age group and religious viewpoint: I’ll bet you anything the religious viewpoint goes hand in hand with the homosexuality reason, and is used by people who don’t want to seem discriminatory on paper. Again, not cool and completely crazy to find in the 21st century. Unsuitable for age group? Penguins + picture book = adult? Apparently.

This book is so completely cute, and such a great story about love and family. The illustrations are beautiful, and come on – penguins! Who doesn’t like penguins? Baby Tango is quite fuzzy and adorable. I highly recommend And Tango Makes Three; the story length is perfect for a child read-along with you.

* From the movie The Princess Bride. Inigo says this to Vizzini during the Cliffs of Insanity scene.
** Hare, W. & Portelli, J. P. (1996) The Neutral Teacher in Philosophy of Education, Introductory Readings, 2nd ed. Calgary: Detselig.

Advertisements

BBW: The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Last year for Banned Books Week, I held a giveaway for The Chocolate War. Since I was already reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower as my BBW read, I didn’t have time to read it myself. This year, I figured now was a good a time as any, especially since The Chocolate War is one of the more controversial books on the frequently challenged lists.

REASONS FOR CHALLENGES/BANNING

The Chocolate War has been on the most frequently challenged list, in the top ten, for 2001 (#3), 2002 (3#), 2004 (#1), 2005 (#4), 2006 (#10), 2007 (#2), and 2009 (#10). Robert Cormier has been on the most frequently challenged authors list in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2009. The book comes in at number 4 in the Top 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books: 1990-1999 list, and number 3 in the Top 100 Most Frrequently Challenged Books: 2000-2009 list. Reasons for challenges? Nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence, and religious viewpoint.

OVERVIEW/REVIEW…beware of possible spoilers

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
ISBN-13: 9-780440-944591 mass market; Sept 2000; 263 pg; Laurel-Leaf
Rating: 3 ♥ / 5 ♥

Rather than just talk about banned books all week, I decided I should probably read one, too. So the first half of this overview will be my review of The Chocolate War.

The “main” character of the book is Jerry, though we are introduced to a number of different narrators throughout the course of the story. The plot revolves around Jerry and a group at his school called the Vigils, plus one teacher – Brother Leon. The whole idea is that Brother Leon is chair of a fundraiser selling chocolates. Though voluntary, no one ever opts out of selling the chocolates – until Jerry does. What seems to be such an innocent thing sets of a chain reaction that effects the whole school (whether they realize it or not).

I definitely liked the book. Jerry is a very sympathetic character whom you just can’t help but cheer for. Archie (head of the Vigils) and Brother Leon are both incredibly loathsome, and I enjoyed disliking them. The characters have great background and are very well realized. The writing is engaging, memorable and well done. However…I was unsatisfied with the ending. Something just seemed to be missing, and it’s not the fact that the ending is not a happy one (I don’t mind non-happy endings). Everything was still just so open and begging for a sequel – the end left me staring in disbelief at the book asking, “yes, right. But what happens next?” Very unfinished to me (and I know life is never finished, and so a story written like a snapshot into someone’s life is not finished, but blah. I like conclusions, thanks.).

So, good story, but beware of the ending. On to the reasons for challenging/banning! We got some good ones here.

Nudity: Um. Yes? Maybe. I’m not sure I remember any full scale nudity, but I may have missed something. There are definitely times when naked body parts are mentioned, but nothing that would incite parents/etc. to ban on nudity alone. Trust me, other books have MUCH more nudity and are no where near the top ten lists.

Sexually explicit: Sort of. Again, no full blown sex but there is definite mention of masturbation and talk of sex. Jerry’s in grade nine. Name me one grade nine boy that hasn’t at least thought of sex and I will bow before you as king of the universe. At that age, a brick wall can set off sexy time thoughts. I know, people will argue that teens younger than grade nine read this book. Well, when I was in school sex education started in grade 4. I’m pretty sure by grade five almost everyone knows about this stuff already. It’s not going to shock kids of today unless they’ve been living in a box.

Offensive language: This is the most ridiculous excuse ever. Do people not realize how ofetn teens/kids hear offensive language? It is everywhere. School, malls, sidewalks, movies, songs, books, television. You can censor and challenge the last four to your hearts content, but until you can censore real people, kids/teens are going to hear and use offensive language. Get over it. My French/English dictionaries in high school had a whole page to the translation of the word f*ck. None of us cared – it was just another word.

Unsuited to age group: I have nothing to say to this one. Pretty much covered this when I talked about Twilight.

Violence: Yes, The Chocolate War has violence in it. Realistic violence. What Jerry goes through in getting beat up and picked on by his peers…teens/kids go through that today. It’s called bullying, and it happens. Banning this book for violence in the form of bullying may take away something that could help a child going through bullying him/herself. Jerry is a strong character, and holds up against his tormenters.

Religious viewpoint: This book was written in 1974. Jerry goes to Catholic school. I’m not touching this one with a ten foot pole because I would inevitably upset someone. Again, we’re not told who’s objecting to what aspect of religious viewpoint so it’s hard to argue against. All I will say is that this book has good characters, and not so good characters. The only reason for this objection at all is because the story takes place in a Catholic school. If it was in a normal, modern high school there would be no religion in the book at all.

BBW: The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer

As it seems all popular books do at some point, the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer has found itself on the lists of frequently challenged and banned books. I devoured books 1-3 in about a week over Christmas 07, and then had to wait for book 4. While obviously not a series for everyone, it definitely shouldn’t be banned.

REASONS FOR CHALLENGES/BANNING

The Twilight series has been on the most frequently challenged list in 2008 and 2009. It was in the top ten for 2009 (#5). Reasons for challenges? Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and too racy.

OVERVIEW…beware of possible spoilers


Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
ISBN-13: 9-780316-015844 trade BP; Sept. 2006; 497 pg; Little, Brown & Co.
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
ISBN-13: 9-780316-071772 hardback; Sept. 2006; 563 pg; Little, Brown & Co.
Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
ISBN-13: 9-780316-160209 hardback; Sept. 2007; 629 pg; Little, Brown & Co.
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
ISBN-13: 9-780316-067928 hardback; Aug. 2008; 754 pg; Little, Brown & Co.

I’m not going to dive too far into the Twilight series. A true review/overview would be crazy long (with four books and everything). Also, I haven’t read the books in a little while, so some of my information might be spotty (but it might not!).

The Twilight series is about Bella, an ordinary girl who falls in love with a vampire, and is loved by a werewolf. Let’s look at the reasons for banning/challenging, shall we?

Sexually explicit: Book four has a sex scene or two in it, yes, but the first three books? Some kissing. A little making out. Jacob – the werewolf – is frequently shirtless. But that’s about it. The first three books also have Edward insisting on sex only after marriage and Bella being made into a vampire. Mind you, the being made into a vampire clause didn’t stick, but the waiting until marriage one did. I’m assuming the complainers are turned off by any sex what-so-ever being shown to their children. Hope they watch all the tv shows their kids do…

Religious viewpoint: I don’t even know how to answer this one. I’m never sure if the challenger is mad because the book isn’t promoting a certain religion, or because it is. Truthfully, I don’t even know how this one comes into play. Maybe someone thinks that vampires/werewolves/etc. are all witchcraft and evil and that goes against their religious viewpoint? That’s about the only thing I can think of.

Unsuited to age group: If everything that was labeled unsuited to age group was actually banned, teens would have nothing left to read except picture books and the bible. Twilight is a teen book. It’s targeted at teens – you know, 13+? Yea, that age. It’s not the school’s/library’s/bookstore’s fault that you let your 8 year old read it. But, I’m not that far removed from my teenage years, and I can tell you this – I read Clan of the Cave Bear and Flowers in the Attic when I was thirteen. Both are infinitely “worse” (I use the word “worse” loosely.) than Twilight can ever be, and I turned out perfectly fine. What does unsuited to age group even mean? Who determines what’s suitable for age group?

Too racy: I love this one. I think it’s the fallback excuse when someone wants to object to a book but they know their reasons are crap. Racy could mean any number of things, but personally – I think of Harlequin romances, bodice rippers. Of which Twilight is definitely not. This reason probably refers to the sex scene, the shirtless Jacob, the vampire Edward and talk of death. Also, some kissing. Possibly Bella’s vampire/human baby.

The challenges to the Twilight series remind me of those to Harry Potter. Crazy. Bella, Edward and Jacob – while not the ideal of a relationship (their issues have issues) – are three characters whose story pulls you in and makes you keep reading until you find out Team Jacob, or Team Edward? Will Bella become a vampire? Will Jacob ever be happy? How creepy can the Volturi be? Twilight became a huge success and introduced numerous teens to books and reading – that’s a good thing in my book.

BBW: The Catcher in the Rye

Today, I’m happy to welcome author Kathleen Peacock to my blog to talk about The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.

The Catcher in the Rye has been in the top ten challenged books of 2001 (#6), 2005 (#3) and 2009 (#6). It came in at #10 in the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books, 1990-1999 list, and #19 in the 100 Mst Frequently Challenged Books, 2000-2009 list. J. D. Salinger is also one of the most frequently challenged authors of the 21st century. The most frequent reasons for the challenges to The Catcher in the Rye? Offensive language, unsuited to age group and sexual content.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

So, without further ado, here’s Kathleen!

“I’m going to read Catcher in the Rye.”

I swivel in my chair and regard my co-worker (CW) over the top of my glasses. “You’ve never read it?”

The question isn’t meant to be snobbish—though I suspect it comes out that way. I haven’t read Catcher, either. I’ve thought about it, even gone so far as to flip through it and walk towards the bookstore register, but those brief thirty-second glimpses of Holden Caulfield have always been enough to convince me that I can’t spend two-hundred-and-fourteen pages with him.

It’s a decade old opinion and not one I plan to part with, but, as the day wears on, as I follow CW to two bookstores in lieu of coffee breaks (neither of which has a copy), his enthusiasm starts to be infectious. Like a virus, it keeps slipping past my defences until, a day later, I find myself buying a copy at the big bookstore across town.

The rationale? I’ll read it and CW can borrow it when I’m done. I’ll hate it—I just know I will—but at least I’ll be able to say I’ve read the thing.

Five-pages in, maybe less, and I’m in love. Yeah, Holden is arrogant and self-absorbed and quite possibly a liar, but damn it if I don’t like him and if I don’t fall head over heels for the prose. I read the book in stolen snatches—waiting for the bus, eating a sandwich, standing in line at the coffee shop—and these brief interludes leave me dizzy and shaken and a little brain-tumbled.

At lunch, on Sunday, the waiter quietly sets down my food and refills my drink and, when I go to leave asks, “Is this your first time? It is, isn’t it?”

Seeing my confusion, he gestures at the book in my hand. “Catcher in the Rye. Is this the first time you’ve read it? You looked…like you were being completely sucked in.” He goes on to talk about how it’s one of his favourite books—one of the most incredible books he’s ever read—and how he’s never gotten it out of his system.

The restaurant is pretty much deserted, so I loiter and we chat and I leave with two thoughts swirling in my head.

1. That I was judging a book based on a handful of lines without giving it a chance. That’s not all that different than people who challenge books based on relayed words or scenes. Sure, I wasn’t trying to force my opinion on others, but I still should have at least tried—really tried—to read Catcher before forming an opinion. If I had, I would have discovered a book that I truly love much earlier.

2. That great books are viral. They spread from person to person. I might not have caved in and tried Catcher in the Rye had it not been for CW’s sudden determination. And there was something genuinely touching about waiter-guy’s (we never did exchange names) very obvious love for a book that changed his life. That’s what book banners fear the most, I think, the power of a book or a character or an idea to resonate and spread like fire or an infection—to rage out of control. Because, let’s face it, no matter how many times it’s been challenged, no one has ever been able to put out the fire that is Catcher in the Rye.

Kathleen Peacock
Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Thank you so much Kathleen! I might just have to go read The Catcher in the Rye now 😀

BBW: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak
by Laurie Halse Anderson
ISBN-13: 9-780142-414736
Rating: 4.5 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really, really liked it

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it’s been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: “My throat is always sore, my lips raw…. Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze…. It’s like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis.” What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors’ big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it’s because her parents’ only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she’s been struck mute…

Unlike the other books I’ll be posting abut this week, Speak is actually getting a review (since there aren’t really any banned/challenged stats I can quote). There are a few SPOILERS to be found in this review.

Speak is the story of Melinda, a ninth grader. At first, it seems to just be her story – her journey through the beginning of high school, but as the narrative continues, the reader can’t help but realize there is something much more going on with Melinda than every day life. She’s practically mute, and it’s slowly revealed that an act occured the summer before she started ninth grade that she just can’t talk about, and doesn’t know how to accept or verbalize. Laurie Halse Anderson has a way with words, and her writing flows seamlessly together. Speak is a hard book to put down.

For a book with very little dialogue, characters and character interaction is amazing. Melinda is so completely realized, it’s incredible. By the end of the novel, I felt like I knew Melinda personally. Her internal observations, dialogues, and perceptions give a great insight into her character. Likewise, she has this sarcastic, witty, heartbreakingly sad view of the world and people around her. Melinda’s view on high school is very realized and bleak. The “something” that happened to Melinda in the summer? the reader doesn’t even find out for sure what it is until about two thirds of the way through the novel. If I hadn’t have already known that Melinda had been raped at a party, I would have only been guessing until she finally addresses the topic to herself and a girl who used to be a friend. It’s through time, art, her art teacher, and a need to keep others from hurting as she was hurt that Melinda begins to find, and finds, the strength to speak out and pick up the pieces of her life.

Speak is such a powerful novel. Melinda’s voice comes through loud and clear, and her story is one that can open so many eyes and ears, and help those who have been in Melinda’s shoes. I can’t even adequately explain this book. It’s definitely one that a person needs to read and experience for themselves. All I can say is that Laurie’s writing is powerful, and Melinda’s story is one that needs to be read and heard everywhere.

Banned Books Week!

Welcome to the Banned Books Week takeover of my blog!

Please welcome Colleen @ Lavender Lines! Colleen will be introducing us to the idea behind banning/challenging books. Please have your sense of humour and sarcasm handy at all times!

Banned Books FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so all about the banned books these days. See, my To-Be-Read pile is HUGE and I have no idea how I’ll ever get through them. So, in honor of Banned Book week, I’ve decided that all the books that probably should be banned won’t get read. Here’s just a few and the clear reasons why no one (especially teens) should read them.

Soulless by Christopher Golden – No idea what this one is about, but does it really matter? The title is sacrilegious. We shouldn’t read books about not having a soul because anyone without a soul goes to Hell. And that’s bad.

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson – A young, rich, spoiled girl living on her own. Where are her parents? Surely it is the lack of parental supervision that leads her into thievery and romantic “missteps” as the blurb on the back states.

Stork by Wendy Delsol – Um, the main character is said to “connect unborn children with the right mother”. Sorry, only God can do that.

You know, this makes me think that most of the books I’ve read should be banned and kids and teens shouldn’t be allowed to read them. I read a lot of naughty, dirty books that would totally give kids the wrong idea.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan – Do teens really need to learn the best way to kill zombies and how dangerous they can be? Doesn’t that just promote random acts of violence against zombies? If you don’t put the idea in teens’ heads, then they won’t be tempted to pull a gun on the first zombie they come across.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater – OMG the two leads in this book – gasp! – have sex! Honest to goodness sex. You don’t see it or read about it, but you know it happens. It could totally make other teens have sex. Especially if one of them is a werewolf. Wait, isn’t that bestiality? Double reason to ban it.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss – Should kids really be allowed to read about all these different fish? After all, the fish aren’t anything like them. Face it; fish are inferior so why even bother learning about them?

Good night Moon by Margaret Brown– Conversing with the moon? I sure as heck wouldn’t want MY kid learning witchcraft at such a young age.

The Bible – Really, I have no idea why people let their kids read this! It’s full to the brim with pregnancy, drinking, violence, murder – some pretty nasty stuff. None of which kids should learn about. It might lead them to a life of debauchery for sure.

You know what? I say let’s ban all books. Kids don’t need to read to learn, right? And the more sheltered they are the less trouble they’ll get into. Sounds like the perfect plan to me.

– Colleen, Lavender Lines

Thank you so much Colleen! If the above guest post confused you, made you mad, had you wondering why anyone would question those books on those grounds, than good. It worked. Welcome to the crazyness that is Banned Books Week, and the disbelief we feel when finding out a book we love has been challenged or banned from schools, libraries or even countries.

This week, rather than reviewing a number of books, I’ll be giving a general overview of their content and looking at reasons why they were challenged/banned. So, WARNING – it is quite possible that all posts about books this week will contain spoilers. Also, author Kathleen Peacock will be joining me later this week to relive her journey reading The Catcher in the Rye.

Bloggers Speak Out – link collection

Natalie @ Mindful Musings has compiled the following list of links as part of her Bloggers Speak Out event.

Bloggers Speak Out is a movement sparked by the recent article, “Filthy Books Demeaning to Republic Education” by Dr. Wesley Scroggins that was published in the Springfield, MO News-Leader on September 18th. In this article, Scroggins vehemently advocates the censorship of books in schools, and specifically requests that the following books be removed from the Republic school system: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. To show our support of these authors and to fight against book banning and censorship, we have decided to take action and speak out.

Below is a list of links of bloggers speaking out against book banning and censorship–in the form of giveaways, posts, and reviews. Some are “officially” participating in what I’m calling Bloggers Speak Out, and others are posts that I’ve found around the blogosphere. If you get time, you should definitely check them out!

Giveaways of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

**All giveaways will end on 10/3, unless otherwise noted**

Papercut Reviews
Braintasia Books
Escape Through the Pages
Tina’s Book Reviews
Sea of Pages
Mrs. Deraps Reads
Moonlight Book Reviews
Cari’s Book Blog
Just Your Typical Book Blog
For What It’s Worth
Wondrous Reads (Ends 9/27)
Frankie Writes (Ends ?)
The Elliot Review (Ends ?)
The Bookologist (Ends ?)
La Femme Readers

Other Giveaways

**All giveaways will end on 10/3, unless otherwise noted**

-Lisa Schroeder: ARC of The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney (Ends 9/23)
-Will Write for Cake: Win Speak, Twenty Boy Summer, or Slaughterhouse Five
-Mindful Musings: Win Speak, Twenty Boy Summer, or Slaughterhouse Five
-Teens Read and Write: Win The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
-Mundie Moms: Win Speak, Burned, Twenty Boy Summer, or The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Ends 9/26)
-Wicked Awesome Books: Win a “Filthy Books” Prize Pack
-Carol’s Prints: Win Speak and The Mockingbirds
-Myra McEntire: Win Speak, Twenty Boy Summer, or Harry Potter
-The Bookish Type: Win Speak or Twenty Boy Summer
-Bea’s Book Nook: Win Speak & an ALA Challenged Book (Ends 10/2)
-Sarah Ockler: Win a Wesley Scroggins Filthy Books Prize Pack (Ends 10/1)

Other Posts Against Book Banning and Censorship

Braintasia Books
Escape Through the Pages
As Told by Jen
Aine’s Realm
The Compulsive Reader
Once Upon a Bookcase
Daily Dose
Speak Loudly Book Drop @ Late Bloomer Online
A Life Bound by Books
Red House Books
Frankie Writes
Michelle’s Bookshelf
I Should Be Writing
The Undercover Book Lover
Punk Writer Kid
Lisa and Laura Write
Between the Covers
Another Book Junkie
Jenni Elyse
Eve’s Fan Garden
The Ultimate Dumpees
Reading the Best of the Best
The Pirate’s Bounty
Reclusive Bibliophile
Book Faery
Bloggers Heart Books
Book Swarm
Fantasy 4 Eva
The Ladybug Reads
The Lady Critic’s Library
Emilie’s Book World
Jacob’s Beloved
Just Your Typical Book Blog
Maggie’s Bookshelf
Basically Amazing Books
Novel Thoughts
Random Ramblings
Holes in my Brain
Readligion
Vision Quest Fail
Shelby Barwood
Supernatural Snark
Consumed by Books
Ann Marie Gamble
The Darker Side of the Fire
Katie’s Book Blog
Sassymonkey (BlogHer)
GreenBeanTeenQueen
Jessica Lei
Maria Romana
Abby Minard
The Mimosa Stimulus
Books and Things
Beyond the Trestle

Authors Speak Out

Laurie Halse Anderson: This guy thinks Speak is pornographic
Laurie Halse Anderson: The power of speaking loudly
Author Gayle Forman @ Eve’s Fan Garden
Author Saundra Mitchell @ Eve’s Fan Garden
Karen Rivers
Sarah Ockler: I Speak Loudly for Speak
Sarah Ockler: On Book Banning Zealots and Ostriches
Author Laura Manivong @ Page Turners
Cheryl Rainfield: Fight Against Ignorance
Myra McEntire: Speak Loudly: In Defense of Laurie Halse Anderson
Andrea Cremer: Speak Out
Natalie Standiford on Censorship @ Emily’s Reading Room

Important Articles on the Subject

“Filthy Books Demeaning to Republic Education” (the article that started it all)
Scroggins’ Official Complaint to the School Board (PDF)
“Republic School Book Choices under Fire” (Springfield News-Leader)
Laurie Halse Anderson’s Editiorial in the Springfield News-Leader
Sarah Ockler’s Editorial in the Springfield News-Leader
Natalie @ Mindful Musings’ Letter to the Editor in the Springfield News-Leader
Essay: Kurt Vonnegut’s Thoughts on the First Amendment