Happy Banned Books Week!
Today’s Virtual Read-Out video features Leslea Newman, author of the frequently challenged children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies. This book had been challenged for being anti-family and homosexuality.
“It doesn’t matter how many mommies or how many daddies your family has . . . Each family is special. The most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other.” This passage, according to Newman, is the controversial message of the book.
The book has been challenged 42 times by legislators and parents wanting to remove it from local and school library shelves. It was the third most challenged book in 1993, and the second most challenged book in 1994. “Daddy’s Roommate” was the most challenged book in both years. For more information, check out this article.
If you are in New York City today and looking for something fun to do, we hope you can join ALA and the sponsors of Banned Books Week at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby Street New York, NY, 10012) at 7:00 PM, for a free program, “Celebrating Banned Books Week: A Conversation with Banned and Challenged Young Adult Authors.” The program features banned and challenged Young Adult authors, including David Levithan, author of Boy Meets Boy and Two Boys Kissing, Meg Medina, author of Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, which has been banned in some areas due to its title, and Coe Booth, author of Kinda Like Brothers. The discussion will focus on the topic of censorship, each author’s experience being banned or challenged, and the importance of free and open access to all books, especially for young adult readers. The conversation will be moderated by David Shipler, author of Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword.