This week is special for libraries, writers, and others who deal in the written word across the United States, as we celebrate Banned Books Week.
Today, I want to share some of my personal favorite books from the "Frequently Challenged Children's Books" list published by the American Library Association.
- Judy Blume's Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret was a rite of preteen passage and a gateway to important talks about adolescence with my mother. I was Margaret, navigating the fear and curiosity of impending puberty. I still have the book on my shelf.
- Dr. Seuss was a part of my childhood, my children's read-alouds, and continuing favorites of my elementary students. Hop on Pop: The Simplest Seuss for Youngest Use will be one of my favorites to (hopefully!) share with my grandchildren one day.
- Long road trips would not have been as much fun without our Where's Waldo? books by Martin Hanford. As an educator, I now realize we were building an eye for detail and visual literacy--and we just thought we were having fun trying to find Waldo!
- I was glad to be introduced to Robie Harris' It's So Amazing! and It's Perfectly Normal! books during my master's program. I bought them for my own children, and left them on the coffee table as a resource for facts about puberty and relationships.
- Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time was one of the first science fiction books I read as an elementary student, and worth the re-reading with my lunchtime book group. The story is just as relevant and awe-inspiring today.
- I read The Giver by Lois Lowry for the first time with a book lunch bunch last year. It's a cautionary tale about personal rights and freedoms that readers can connect with current events.
- Mary Rodgers' Freaky Friday was on my bookshelf before Jodie Foster, and then Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan made it popular on the big screen. Who doesn't love a tale on the classic theme of walking a mile in another's shoes?
- My children grew up with the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling; I'm fairly certain they were the longest books my daughter read--and happily did so--in elementary and middle school. They are on my home shelf as well, thanks to a generous uncle.
It's Monday; what "banned books" are you reading this week?