I am going to celebrate Banned Books Week by reading and commenting on a few of the books that were met with banning threats last year. I'm making this announcement now in the hopes that all of you will join in the celebration.
So, today I'm headed to the library to pick up Chris Crutcher's Whale Talk, a young adult novel that cropped up on last year's most-challenged list. All I know, other than the reasons for the attempts to challenge the book, is that it's about a high-school swim team. Jump into the pool, and read a banned book, too, okay?
Speaking of Chris Crutcher, I see that he will take part in the conference "Fear and Fiction: The Power of Children's Books and the Inner Life of the Child." Sponsored by the Yale Child Study Center and London's Anna Freud Centre, the gathering is set for October 21st at Bank Street College, in New York. Other participating writers include Robie H. Harris (whose It's Perfectly Normal was #1 on 2005's most-challenged list, coincidentally), David Almond, Lois Lowry, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Martin Waddell, Mo Willems, and Jacqueline Woodson. A number of big-name child analysts are slated to speak, too, along with Gregory Maguire (Wicked) and Steve Marans, of the Yale Child Study Center.
If you are going to this conference, let me know. I am hoping to attend, too. We'll have cwoffee, we'll twalk.