Today is the International Day of the Girl. Currently “523 million girls and women worldwide cannot read or write.” LitWorld launched Stand Up For Girls in 2011 as a means of gathering the stories of inspirational girls and women around the world. If you have a story about a woman who inspired your own strength, please contribute to the story bank. Remember at Noon today, no matter where you are, stand up for one minute. Snap a photo and tweet or Instagram it with the hashtag #standup4girls
By helping girls share their stories and teaching them that what they have to say is valuable, we empower them and give them strength. This allows girls and women security and power in environments where they might otherwise have none. Girls’ education is so important within any society. It lowers mortality and poverty, increases equitable growth, and democratization. Help support this movement by sharing your story or simply standing up and spreading the word.
Today is Read for the Record!
If you haven’t signed up to read Otis by Lauren Long, follow the link, fill out the quick form to be counted. Next, if you don’t have a copy of Otis, head over to We Give Books and read a digital copy (in English or en Espanol) for free.
One of my favorite blogs, Offbeat Families, posted this great article from high school English teacher, Ashley Lauren. Hers was a response to a piece at HuffPo recommending books kids should read before college. Both lists are excellent. If your teen hasn’t read these in school or you’re in high school and looking for something thought-provoking to read (or anything that isn’t Shakespeare) check them out.
Five excellent books not necessarily recommended for all nor only high school-aged people:
Don’t forget. It’s banned books week!
From 9/22 through 9/28, people everywhere will be celebrating our freedom to read by picking up banned books. The celebration began the same year I was born and this year it will kick off just a couple days after my 31st birthday. Booksellers, libraries, journalists, authors, bloggers, and all the cool kids will be hosting celebratory events, so find one in your area. You can check out the Banned Books Week calendar of events. If there isn’t an event near you, join in or check out the Virtual Read In on Youtube.
Among the perennial banned books you’ll find incredible works like, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. This year’s top challenged book was the Captain Underpants series, which is also wildly popular. Not at all surprisingly, Fifty Shades of Grey, also made this year’s Ten Most Challenged list.
Comics aren’t exempt from being banned, either. This year Persepolis, the acclaimed graphic novel was banned in Chicago’s Lane Tech College Prep. If you’re interested in freedom to read comics, check out Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. They have a super cool shop to support the organization, too.
If you’re here, chances are you’re as much of a book nerd as I am, so I don’t need to tell you that banning books sucks. Censoring books, restricting or eliminating access to them, is a violation of our rights and a threat to creative thinking. Read Banned Books!