It’s Banned Books Week!
From the ALA, here’s some interesting information.
Background Information from 2001 to 2010
Over the past ten years, American libraries were faced with 4,660 challenges.
1,536 challenges due to “sexually explicit” material;
1,231 challenges due to “offensive language”;
977 challenges due to material deemed “unsuited to age group”;
553 challenges due to “violence”
370 challenges due to “homosexuality”; and
Further, 121 materials were challenged because they were “anti-family,” and an additional 304 were challenged because of their “religious viewpoints.”
1,720 of these challenges (approximately 37%) were in classrooms; 30% (or1,432) were in school libraries; 24% (or 1,119) took place in public libraries. There were 32 challenges to college classes; and 106 to academic libraries. There are isolated cases of challenges to materials made available in or by prisons, special libraries, community groups, and student groups. The majority of challenges were initiated by parents (almost exactly 48%), while patrons and administrators followed behind (10% each).
And, the list of the top ten challenged books of 2010.
2010: 1) And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson; 2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie; 3) Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley; 4) Crank, by Ellen Hopkins; 5) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins; 6)Lush, by Natasha Friend; 7) What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones; 8) Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich; 9)Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie; 10) Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
THE WORLD OF TERRA-KAL
In order to begin more expansive writings around Black Mask & Pale Rider, I’ve had to create an entire world. From cities to regions to countries to races, even professions and religions. This series will explain the world, and what people will see when reading about the Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider
RACES OF TERRA-KAL
Terra-Kal is a diverse planet, filled with a large number of people. The entire population is elven in heritage. And there are a good number of elven races throughout this world, many of whom have their own religions which have carried over from their existence on Earth.
While these elves are often put together because of their country, they are actually three distinct elven races. The Elves of the Sun, the Elves of the Moon, and the Elves of the Wild. Each race takes their names based on the mythic instructions from the gods, so often their race and their desired occupation or duty is reflects ancient writings.
The Elves of the Moon are considered the care takers of law, and the ones who watch the shadows for misdeeds. These elves have a high stature in Brytilonia, and many consider themselves royalty, though that ideal is slipping into history. For Brytilonia has not had a regent in many generations. Elves of the Moon, or as they are sometimes called, Moonies are recognized by their jet black hair, often kept in pristine condition. Their skin is pale white, not the pinkish colour of the other fair skinned elves, but white. These elves are also great builders, having created glorious cities in Brytilonia; many travel between Longbridge which connects Brytilonia to the Great Desert, Arcanum Bridge, which is the center for arcane study, and Stonebridge, the capital of Brytilonia with it’s majestic towers.
The Elves of the Moon have a varied religion, having studied with many of the different races on Terra-Kal. Their primary religion, however, can be compared to that of Buddism. They value wisdom above all.
The Elves of the Sun are similar to the Moonies, but they are much more fair skinned, having a slight pinkish tone, and their hair is often blond or white. The Sunnies, as they are sometimes called, value music, dance, song, story and any manner in which history can be recorded. While the Moonies are seen as somewhat dower and serious, Sunnies are much more playful and enjoy hearing laughter. This attitude has been seen as infectuous, and many Moonies have begun to study in the arts as the Sunnies do. Elves of the Sun remain in smaller communities, such as Brockton, home of the Academy of the Arts, or Overbrook, which is home to the farmer’s market. While Sunnies do value much more light hearted pursuits, they have a thirst for knowledge, and will often set out and explore. It is not uncommon to meet a Sunnie who does not have friends in the far off Great Desert or the mountains of Nordicia.
The Elves of the Sun, like their Moonie brothers and sisters, do not prescribe to one single religion, but the primary religion that can be associated with Sunnies is that of The Shining Lady.
The third and final race of the Brytilonian Elves is The Elves of the Wild. The Elves of the Wild are very diverse, having darker complexion, and hair that ranges from black to brown to red. They are stewards of nature, and help find the balance between the lives of elves and the natural world around them. It is said the attitudes of Wilders can be as unpredictable as the wind itself. Wilders don’t make friends easily, but when they do, they form a fast bond. Such a bond was forged between the Arch Druid, the appointed leader of the Wilders, and the Queen of the Great Desert city of Semerkhet. Wilders do not like to venture much into larger centers such as Stonebridge, but when they do it is because there is something that is most certainly required. Elves of the Moon built great gardens in the center of their stone cities to accomodate the Wilders. The Wilders do have their own city in the northern reaches of Brytilonia, called Maple Bridge. The city is set in the Great Forest, surrounded by huge maple trees that help make up the many dwellings.
Wilder religion is quite defined, and not many Wilders prescribe to other religions, but they do respect the choices others make. Their attitude toward religion is “you can’t make a mountain to move, nor the wind to stop blowing, but you can prepare for the storm”. The closest that Wilder faith can be described is a cross between ancient pagan religion of the Celts and Native American beliefs.
- World of Black Mask & Pale Rider Part 2 (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- The World of Black Mask & Pale Rider (taholtorf.wordpress.com)