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Banned Books Week New Series support

Secondary teachers take note. Enslow Publishing has released a series on AUTHORS OF BANNED BOOKS. You’ll want to add them to your collection as the authors featured are of great interest to secondary students. These are well-written books that combine biographies with the philosophy and reality behind censorship. Authors featured include: 

Mark Twain
Robert Cormier
J.K. Rowling
Madeleine L’Engle
John Steinbeck

Beware – these books are so interesting you won’t be able to simply skim them. I found myself having to read every page. There are helpful sidebars with information on the meaning of censorship and well-documented additions at the back. Yet, the narrative of these titles will draw you in. I wish I had these during my library school M.A.L.I.S. training so I could rationally look at all sides of the issue.

Each title has a distinctive voice and unique perspective of why these authors’ books have been banned. They provide useful biographical information and address the legends and facts of the authors’ lives. Each title contains about 160 pages including 130-132 pages of narrative text and the additional information at the end.

When approaching this series, I worried that these would be so serialized that there was very little new information about banning, censoring, and objecting to titles from one title to the other. Wrong! Each author found a way to present rationally the reasons for objecting to elements of the titles while maintaining a strong stance on refusing to allow one person to censor books for all. The books are respectful of those with concerns who raise challenges to titles while straightforwardly documenting legal actions and societal reactions. 

Take a look at the Table of Contents for two of the titles and notice the differences in emphases:

Madeleine L’Engle by Marilyn McClellan  Robert Cormier by Wendy Hart Beckman
Meet the author Author’s Note
Censorship and Society Battling Over Chocolate
Censorship in Schools and Libraries Book Banning: A History
Madeleine L’Engle: "Dare to Be Creative!" Sides in the Battle
The Storyteller: L’Engle’s Characters and Themes Robert Cormier: Asker of "What If?"
A Wrinkle in Time The Chocolate War
Many Waters I am the Cheese
Challenges to L’Engle’s Work After the First Death
The Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle Protecting Kids
Book Lovers Fight Back
Beyond the Twentieth Century
Additional Information including: Discussion Questions, Timeline, Chapter Notes, Published Works of Madeleine L’Engle, Glossary, Further Reading and Internet Addresses, and an Index Additional Information including: Discussion Questions, Timeline, Chapter Notes, Published Works of Robert Cormier, Glossary, For More Information, Further Reading, Internet Addresses, and an Index

I believe these will be excellent additions to your collections and useful to teachers who may want more background information on these authors as they assign readings.