Ancestor Appreciation Day and the start of Banned Books Week!

Ancestor Appreciation Day
On September 27th each year, people all over the world celebrate Ancestor Appreciation Day. The National Genealogical Society estimates that family history is the second most popular hobby in America (after gardening) and one of the most searched for topics on the Internet. As a hobby, genealogy has all the right stuff. It is fun, educational, addictive, and everyone (regardless of their age) can join in.

For both paper and digital scrapbookers, family heritage is one of the most popular themes for their albums.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your own family research, Genealogy.com has a lot of free online lessons in various topics to explore at your own pace.

Learn more about your ancestors and get started tracing your family tree today!

Banned Books are also celebrated this week!

Banned Books Week, a celebration of the freedom to read, was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of ‘challenges’ to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries.

More than a thousand books have been ‘challenged’ in every state since 1982. Challenges to books include things like: “too sexual” or “too violent,” an objection to profanity and slang, offensive portrayals of racial or religious groups, or positive portrayals of homosexuals. The targeted books range from those that explore contemporary issues and controversies to classic and beloved works of American literature.  

The American Library Association’s Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009

1. ttyl, ttfn, l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs

2. “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality

3. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide

4. “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee
Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

6. “Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

7. “My Sister’s Keeper,” by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence

8. “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things,” by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

9. “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

10. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Topping the list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of the Decade (2000 – 2009) is the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, frequently challenged for various issues including occult/Satanism and anti-family themes.

During the last week of September every year, hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. Visit your local library or bookstore, the official Banned Books Week web site, or the American Library Association web site to find out more.

Go read a banned book today!

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