Storyteller John Weaver is a parent, performer and early childhood professional based in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. In addition to ongoing programs for the Livermore & Menlo Park Libraries, John performs at schools, recreation centers, libraries, bookstores, festivals, family attractions, conferences, parent education seminars, camp-outs, & “read-ins.” Visit John's website at www.storytellerjohnweaver.com, & e-mail John at email@example.com
September 25 - October 2 marks Banned Books Week, the American Library Association's annual celebration of the freedom to read. It's a great time to read some books that have been challenged or banned, to think about why people might have a problem with certain material, and to be grateful that we are able to make up our minds for ourselves and within our families-- without others trampling our liberty.
My work is about sharing stories, and my desire for people of all ages to enjoy stories & reading together; since most of what I tend to do is within my field of Early Childhood Education, though, I decided to search for the banned books that fall within the scope of children's literature. You may be surprised to find some of your own favorite books & authors within the ALA's lists of banned or challenged kids' books! There's Dr. Seuss & Maurice Sendak, the hilarious series of books about Junie B. Jones & Captain Underpants, and the perennial favorites by Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein. Objectionable fantasy series? There's Harry Potter, of course-- but he was preceded by Philip Pullman's "His Dark Material" series (which includes The Golden Compass); The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and even The Wonderful World of Oz! And my meager list doesn't even scratch the surface of challenged titles.
The right to decide what media your family consumes is your own. I celebrate the freedom to think about & ultimately choose what books can be read within my own home, and that is why I am celebrating Banned Books Week.
**Join me on my Facebook page, where I am posting some of my favorite video celebrations of Banned Books week!**