Exercise Your Freedom to Listen

Written by Francisca Goldsmith on Wednesday, September 28, 2016

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Banned Books Week is upon us and, for about a decade now, this initiative to draw attention to intellectual freedom has included audiobooks as a literary expression demanding our protection.


With frequently challenged titles appearing in many publications, we thought we'd call attention to the list of Frequently Challenged Books with Diverse Content and highlight the fact that only some of these are even available in audiobook format. That in itself raises questions about how far beyond the mainstream publishers dare go when creating professionally performed materials.

There are, of course, many challenged and locally forbidden titles available to listeners. From the list of those frequently challenged in which diversity plays a significant part in both the books' and the audience's identity and interests in diversity, some of the best in audioformat include teen-friendly classics such as ANNE FRANK: THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL (Definitive Edition), LA CASA EN MANGO STREET, the Spanish edition of Sandra Cisneros' THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET, Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison's BELOVED, and popular young adult novelist Chris Crutcher's WHALE TALK

The freedom to listen goes beyond content, however, to address our American freedom to hear words and ideas that may offend some while meeting the needs of others. Talking about the divide is a healthier way to manage it than to suppress diversity's sounds and stories. Pick up an audiobook that challenges your world. Share an audiobook with a teen and talk about the challenges it presents.

Category : audiobooks

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