Sunday, September 19, 2010

Book Banning Makes Me Crazy!

I wish that instead of trying to control everything that goes into our kids' heads (can you say losing battle???), people would talk to kids and listen to kids. I wish Laurie Halse Anderson had never been put in the position she's been in this weekend, having to defend her work. But, I'm proud that teachers and librarians and readers from everywhere are stepping up and helping her. We have your back, Laurie! Read the blog post that explains it all here.

Literature is a vessel, my friends. Literature takes us to places we've been. Literature helps us see new worlds. Literature helps us walk in the shoes of another. Literature shows us we're not alone.

Fight censorship.


  1. I have very interesting memories of deciding to keep a contested book in the middle school library :) Books are windows and mirrors. This is not to say I would let my kids read everything - it's a parent's right to decide what their kids are ready for, up to a point. But it's every parent's right, and books have to available for parents to make that decision.

  2. You certainly have a unique perspective on this issue! :)

    I agree wholeheartedly that parents can help decide what books are right for their kids. I wish more parents would get involved in that choice.

    I have a new problem this year. I have parents who won't let their child read the Twilight series because of the content. What they don't know is that their child reads so so so many books... I can barely keep this child in books. Twilight is frankly tame compared to some of the things she chooses for herself that they've never heard of so they can't control. Plus, she loves the Clique books which I'm not crazy about... they're like this generation's Sweet Valley High. I'd rather have her read 100 Twilights over that series. But that's just me. What are your feelings about that?

  3. I think books that get a lot of attention can be a problem with situations like this. My thought is that the parents should read them themselves, but if that's not what they want then I don't know. As you may recall, I read everything, with not too much supervision (they couldn't have kept up if they'd wanted!), and there are a few books I'd take back. I think this is something I'll tell my own kids - some books will stick in your mind, not in a good way, and not everything permissable is beneficial (as someone a great deal wiser than me said!), and there's no point in wasting your time reading what won't stick positively and doesn't make you think. These are lessons I'm still trying to learn myself. But books are a way to talk about things that otherwise may be too abstract or uncomfortable, and if you want open lines of communication you have to find a way to connect. Sometimes even with a two-year-old, I'll be reading a book and point out desirable or undesirable behavior or situations and talk a little about it, and I expect this to multiply as he gets older. Clearly, no one can read everything a kid is reading when she reads so much, but I'd try to do some. That's no solution, though, is it? My only idea is: See if the parents will read Twilight with her, and point her to some Austen: the social machinations are more interesting than in teen books, and it'll expand her vocabulary :)

  4. Great minds think alike. I have suggested they read the Twilight books, but no bite so far. Pun intended. I will not give up, however... I'm looking forward to parent/teacher conferences!


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