Saturday, September 24, 2011

Banned Books Giveaway Hop

Today officially starts Banned Books Week! This blog hop is hosted by I Read Banned Books and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. A big thank you goes out to them for putting this together. My post about why I support this week and what I think about banning books will be posted later today at 7 AM PST so be sure to check it out! For now, let's start the giveaway!

I have picked some of my favorite banned books from you to choose from. There will be 1 winner who will choose one of the following (the prize will be bought in a paperback version, unless you choose Mockingjay, which is only available in hardcover at the moment):

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (or Catching Fire or Mockingjay)

Some have issued a call to ban The Hunger Games because of its violent nature. Yes, this book is violent, but (if you've read my review, I call attention to this fact) it's not gratuitous violence. This book is actually sending a message against violence, among other things. I can understand being wary about your seven-year-old reading it, but it is very much appropriate young adult material, in my opinion. As with most books that are banned or challenged, I don't believe those who are trying to ban it really understand the message that is being portrayed.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (or The Subtle Knife or The Amber Spyglass)

This one is kind of a "duh, of course people would ban it." For those of you who have read it, you know. It's banned for its "anti-Christian content." It's been defended by many, many people, but I'm adding my two cents in. For one thing, not everyone's Christian, so it shouldn't be pulled off public shelves. For another, if you're uncomfortable with having your beliefs challenged, don't have beliefs. We all have different beliefs. Respect other people's. If you're afraid of the influence it'll have on your kids, read the book with them and talk to them about it. It'll be a nice family bonding moment and if you actually read the book (it's my opinion most book-banners don't bother to read what they're trying to ban, because their arguments are often ridiculous), you might actually sound like you know what you're talking about when you're arguing about it.

How to Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

You guys, this is still being challenged in some places. The problem most people have with it is language. (Insert disbelieving face here.) I know. It's not even all that bad. In the late '70's, it was banned for the words "whore lady" and "damn." Now, it's being banned for the word "nigger" and for racial slurs throughout the book. Again, if people bothered to read the book, they would realize that this novel is anti-racist and sends a strong message about how there should be equality between races. And yes, the word "nigger" is a horrible word that should never be said. However, people did (and do) say it. It's part of our history and we shouldn't erase that, because then we wouldn't learn from it.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

You've got to hand it to the woman -- Chopin has got some staying power. It was banned in 1899 when she wrote it, and it is still generating controversy. Go Kate!!! People don't like it because it's about sex, adultery, and suicide. I'm a fan of being open and honest with kids -- especially young adults, who are the people studying this story. Sex is a part of life and it's a topic that's going to come up. I can't imagine that this book would be any young adult's introduction to the concept of adultery, and suicide is a subject that should be taught if for no other reason than to raise awareness about it. Again, it's not as if this story is promoting adultery or suicide. For us today, it's a look into the female situation during the 19th century -- what sort of problems they had to deal with and what their status in society was.

So there you go, 4 awesome books to choose from. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below.

*NOTE* You can also choose the between the sequels for The Hunger Games and The Golden Compass.

- You must be 13 or older to enter
- Contest is open to anywhere the Book Depository ships!
- You must be a GFC follower. Please enter your GFC name in the "other info" box in the Rafflecopter. Those who do not do this will have their entries deleted.
- For 1 extra entry, you may follow me through Twitter.
- For 1 extra entry, you may like The Reader's Refuge Facebook page.
- Winner has 72 hours to respond to my e-mail. After that, I choose another.

To enter others' giveaways, check out this page!