Monday, March 07, 2005


Hi Everyone:

Welcome to the Fahrenheit 451 discussion.

Since this is a discussion on censorship, I suppose the goal should be
not to censor any kinds of ideas or language. Hopefully, we can keep
the discussion to the topic for the week and it goes without saying
that respect for the ideas of other people is important.

If you think any of your friends might be interested in joining the
discussion, please have them email me at this address to sign them up.

High school students are encouraged to pick up a list of banned and
challenged books at the Pelham Library, read, then put in a response
card. The more cards you submit, the better your chances for the
prizes which include: Chapters gift certificates for $25, 15, and 10;
gift certificates from Fairview Bowling Lanes; and $25 from Wal-Mart.

The first topic is:
1. How would you define censorship?

Fahrenheit451 Moderator


Susan said...

Dear Elaine,

Excellent campaign.

I looked on the Pelham Library 2006 and 2007 Banned Books lists and didn't see "Three Wishes" by Deborah Ellis. Is it not there?


fahrenheit451moderator said...

That is a good question.

Last year, the brouhaha broke out after the 2006 list was made. However, I did cover the challenges to the book on the web log as I became aware of them. The only one I wish I had a little more information on was the one right in my School District. I had heard the rumours of teachers being told to steer the kids away from it but I did not have any proof until it had been reported to Freedom to Read. This year, a high school student told me that a box of books deemed unsuitable for elementary school arrived in her classroom and among them was Three Wishes. It is unbelievable that school authorities believe they can quietly remove books they don't like or that someone has decided are too controversial.

I see that for 2007, I didn't put it on the list either but I probably should have. We do have at least two circulating copies in our system and it is the book I am reading with the 11-14 year olds for our book club, so there are about 12 copies in total. Certainly, it could be on the list, given the challenges to it this year. In fact, as soon as we heard about the controversy last year, we invited Deborah Ellis to speak at the library and we had a good mixed crowd of teens and adults.

There are a couple of reasons it may not be on the list. We certainly don't have a comprehensive list of challenged books that are in the Pelham Library. I used Library Thing to compile my list and since we do not have a paid account, there is only room for 200 books (I'm not sure if I hit that number for the printed list or not since I may have saved a few spaces for books that are still on order). The other thing that I may have done is steered away from juvenile books. I know there are a few still on there but it was a race against time to get the lists, displays, etc. ready. I have added Three Wishes to our Library Thing, thanks to your comment. Our challenged display in the library tends to change quite often and the book has already gone out.

I am rereading the book and hope to publish discussion questions that I am making up as I read through it for the book club.