We’re nearing the end of Banned Books Week, and it seems more important than ever this year. With all the division in the country, there is always a discussion about freedom of speech, with the talk currently centering on the freedom to #TakeAKnee. Banned Books Week is nothing if not a celebration of voices and of freedom of speech. Through books, we learn the world is bigger than ourselves and that differences are good.
This year, I bought each of my stepdaughters a banned book. The fifteen-year-old received a copy of The Catcher in Rye, which is a book that I haven’t read since I was fifteen. The thirteen-year-old received a copy of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.
Then I got all cutesy with the wrapping, proving that I am an almost middle-aged mom and not a rebel. I cut up red and orange tissue paper to look like flames (though I doubt actual book burnings are a common thing) and added some stickers to the gift bags. Literary themed cards were included with the books.
To all of you, I wish you a happy banned books week with great books and dangerous ideas.