Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Contest winners, and a word about banned books

So here are the winners for the The Countdown to THE DARK DIVINE Contest:

Grand Prize winner of 3 Egmont books of your choice: Sara (from The Hiding Spot)

Check out the list of books here , then email me with your choices. Please note that a few of the books on the list have not been released yet and would need to be a pre-order.

2nd place winner of autographed copies of Shannon Hale's FOREST BORN and BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS: Mhm, yup (Kristen)

3rd place winner of an autographed copy of Michelle Zink's PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS: RK Charron

Winners, email me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address and I'll send you your prizes.

A word on banned books:

I'd like to say something eloquent here about free speech and how censorship is wrong and how if a bunch of "concerned citizens" got their way in the world I would have never read some of my favorite books that have truly impacted my life for the better. . .but basically all I can muster up to say at the moment is: BANNING BOOKS SUCKS!

Okay, so that was 3 words about banning books, not "a word," but you get the gist, right?

I'd go on and on for a bit, but some of my friends have already written much more eloquently on the subject, so I'll send you guys to them:

Emily Wing Smith (author friend extraordinaire) just found out that her brilliant book THE WAY HE LIVED is being challenged by a school in Florida and may soon be added to the banned books list. She blogged about her feelings on the subject here.

Author friend James Dashner also blogged about it here, and links to the Random House First Amendment Committee. But what's most of interest there is the discussion/brawl that's broken out in the comments section on James's blog between people with opposing views on censorship . . . and semantics. (P.S. James's THE MAZE RUNNER debuts 1 week from today!)

And writer friend Nikki Mantyla wrote a very nice post about discussing censorship issues with her writing students, and the ridiculousness of some of the books that are on the banned books list. Check it out here.

Considering some of the books that have been banned or challenged in this country (Hello, LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE?!) I have no doubt that THE DARK DIVINE will be challenged and/or banned someday. But hopefully that won't stop other teens who would love and appreciate the book (and maybe even need the book) from being able to read it. Support free speech! Go read a banned book this week. I think I will dust off my well-worn copy of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, or perhaps OF MICE AND MEN, or maybe HARRY POTTER, or SPEAK, or BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, or, or . . . you get my point, right?

Okay, so I've said quite a few words already. Be sure to come back later this week so I can tell you all about my trip to Denver for my very first tour stop at the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association expo. I picked up some cool goodies there (including a signed final copy of HUSH HUSH, plus a HUSH HUSH locker poster . . . and more) that I will be giving away to a lucky blog reader. So stay tuned!!


Jessica Kennedy said...

Congrats winners!

My toes are still TDD purple! *squee*

Sara said...

Yay! Thank you!!

Bree Biesinger Despain said...

Jessica- Woo hoo! I love that you have Dark Divine toenails. Me too!

Sara- Congrats, and you're welcome.

nikkimantyla said...

Yeah, loved the comments on James's post. Definitely reminded me a little of that Field of Dreams clip I mentioned. Have you seen it? James has been a good moderator so far, though!

RKCharron said...

Hi Bree :)
Thank you for the great post & links.
Emily's post was great.
I LOATHE book banners & censors.
Thank you very much for the giveaway contest.
I've desired Prophecy of the Sisters since I read the review & saw the trailer on Vania's Reverie blog.
I am very excited to have won it!
Thank you again,
Love & Best Wishes,

Brodie said...

HUGE congrats to the winners!!! I hope your enjoy your books =D

I'm off to read some of those links now. I think in honour of Banned Book Week I might do a re-read of the Harry Potter series for the 777th time. Power to FREEDOM!!

James Dashner said...

Thanks, Bree!

You said it best: banning books sucks.

Jenilyn said...

I'm still baffled by The Little House on the Prairie, among other books. How ridiculous is that?

I also like your shiny book cover on Becca's blog. She and I worked at an alternative high school together several years ago. She's wonderful.

Oh, and apparently the Kmart in Provo thinks James' book has already come out since it was on the shelves today. But in the bestseller section, so it's okay.

Book Sp(l)ot said...

every time I read lists of banned books, I'm always surprised some book or another is on it (even if I probably already knew it). Besides Little House on the Prairie which is definitely crazycakes, Bridge to Terabithia is out there too banned-ness wise...two schools saw fit to assign that in fifth grade ;) (I moved in the middle of that year ;)). Those were all actually school books I think (aside from Harry Potter), middle school or junior high.