Jewish Journal

Exercise your right to read—without censorship

by Shoshana Lewin-Fischer

Posted on Sep. 28, 2006 at 8:00 pm

The last week of September is Banned Books Week. Ever read a book from the "Harry Potter" series or "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"? Then you've read a banned book -- a book taken off of shelves in a classroom or library at one time because people complained about it. Sometimes, people who want to ban a book get so mad they actually burn copies of it (like in "Pleasantville" and "Footloose").

The American Library Association got more than 400 requests to ban books last year. But most of those requests were unsuccessful, because of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other people who make sure books stay on shelves.
Use this week to support your right to read. Here are some banned books to consider reading this week:
  • "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank, which someone wanted to ban because it was "a real downer."
  • "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret" by Judy Blume
  • "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier
  • The "Goosebumps" series by R.L. Stine
  • The "Captain Underpants" series by Dav Pilkey
  • "James and the Giant Peach" by Roald Dahl
  • "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss
  • "Bridge to Terabithia" by Katherine Paterson
  • .... And don't forget the Torah and the Talmud

For more information, visit www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/

Kein v' Lo: Forgiveness

This is a way for you as kids to sound off about an issue. Since this Sunday night is Yom Kippur and during this time of year we are supposed to ask forgiveness from those we have wronged, this month's Kein v' Lo (yes and no) is about forgiveness. Is there ever a time where you shouldn't forgive someone?
Come Play with the Zimms in our Sukkah!
The Kein Side:

  1. If the person who wronged you is just saying they are sorry but doesn't mean it, you shouldn't forgive them -- regardless of what they did. For example, when your friend takes your toy and she breaks it and then her mom tells her to say she's sorry ... that doesn't count.
  2. If someone doesn't ask for your forgiveness, you don't have to give it to him or her. The person who did something wrong should feel bad enough to say he or she is sorry.

The Lo Side:
  1. You should always forgive. If someone asks your forgiveness three times, you must accept their apology after the third time or else the problem becomes yours and then you must ask them for forgiveness.
  2. People are entitled to be hurt and angry, but you can't get past it if you don't accept someone's apology. That is why we ask forgiveness every year during the Yom Kippur service -- even for sins we haven't committed.

Discuss your opinions in your classroom or around your dining table with your family. We aren't saying which is right and which is wrong. We want to know what you think. Send your thoughts to Kids@jewishjournal.com with Kein v'Lo in the subject line.
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