One of the benefits of writing for the Office of Intellectual Freedom, this past year, has been to recognize the amazing work done by a variety of people who continually promote and protect the right of free expression in this country. The work of advocating, facilitating and protecting intellectual freedoms is important activity, and is often carried out by everyday people. I thought it would be useful to speak with those whose work is dependent on intellectual freedom, and how libraries impact who they are and what they do.
You may have seen #ownvoices floating around Twitter and other social media. The hashtag was suggested by Corinne Duyvis for kidlit purposes in September of 2015 but has since become a full-fledged movement.
Throughout his long career as an author, Myers wrote picture books, young adult novels, biographies, poetry and much more. His only (self-imposed) limitation was that he be true to his own identity and experiences.
It’s clear that for many people, S.E. Hinton’s books were the first books they truly loved. Despite the challenges they’ve faced, her books have endured, and without her, we may not have the wealth of YA literature we have today.
To this date, Chris has written 14 books — all have been challenged or banned. Yes, every single book he’s published has been challenged and many of them banned in classrooms. That alone should have you running to the CRU shelf of your library’s young adult section.
The novel, 1984, is experiencing a resurgence in the wake of the scandalous language, and ideas emanating from Washington D.C. over the past few months. A democratic minded public has little patience with the idea of ‘alternate facts.’ … In recognition of the importance of this imaginative act, theaters across the country and the globe are choosing to provide free screenings of Michael Radford’s film version of ‘1984.’
On Feb. 21, PBS premiered ‘And Still I Rise,’ a documentary on the life of Maya Angelou. Using mostly archival footage and interviews with the author herself, it is an opportunity to learn about the author’s life largely in her own words, from her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas, through her years in New York and Ghana, up to her death in 2014.
Like many important authors, Alvarez is no stranger to controversy. Her two most famous books, ‘How the García Girls Lost Their Accents’ and ‘In the Time of Butterflies,’ have both faced multiple challenges. The former is most often challenged for sexuality, while the latter was once apparently challenged ‘because it was a considered a ‘security risk’ because one of the characters drew a diagram of a bomb.’