Novel Journey presents an interview with Rebecca Zeidel, Program Director for American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. The web log is part of Christian Women Online.
Zeidel responds to the following questions:
What is Banned Book Week?
What is the goal of Banned Book Week?
What percentage of books are challenged or banned because of moral content? Political content? Racial content? Violence? Other (please explain)?
Who suffers the most if a book is challenged?
How can novelists support Banned Book Week?
Which states or regions are more likely to jump on the banning band wagon?
Zeidel identifies the Howell, MI banning of 5 titles in a response to this question: What is the most appalling situation you've seen or heard of regarding a challenged book?
In February, five books were challenged in Howell, MI for sexual themes and profanity: Black Boy by Richard Wright, Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, and The Freedom Writers Diary by Erin Gruwell. The books were challenged in Howell High School in by members of the Livingston Organization for Values in Education (LOVE) with assistance from the Michigan chapter of the American Family Association.
According to its web site,
The American Family Association represents and stands for traditional family values, focusing primarily on the influence of television and other media – including pornography – on our society.
Of great interest, since a number of challenges come from the religious sector is Zeidel's answer to this question: "How can novelists who write from a JudeoChristian worldview support free speech?"