Reader #1: “I’m offended by teens having sex. They shouldn’t allow those books into school libraries. Our teens might learn to have sex from them.”
Reader #2: “I don’t care if teens have sex as long as they aren’t the same gender. That might encourage an otherwise straight kid to be gay.”
Reader #3: “At least sex is a natural thing. What I can’t handle is if the teens are magic. What if it teaches people to try magic and they end up in Hell because of it? ”
Okay, I seriously have to stop. I’m just pissing myself off trying to come up with all the ignorant ways people condone book banning.
September 25 – October 1, 2016 is Banned Books Week. It is an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read. Read that sentence and more on this article about Banned Books Week: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek
Some of the banned books I’ve read include scandalous titles such as:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon banned or challenged for reasons of offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, banned or challenged because it contained sexual references.
The Absolute True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, banned or challenged because of the use of the word scrotum. (Oh, wait? Can I use that offensive word?)
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, a book that made me laugh out loud and giddy as a schoolgirl was banned or challenged because of its use of profanity and its treatment of sexuality.
Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss. Yes, you read that right. Parents wanted it removed from libraries because it promotes violence.
There are so many books that are challenged that we never know about because some small-minded person felt they should make a decision for all of us. Chances are you’ve read a banned or challenged book without realizing that title has experienced strife somewhere in the world.
As I’ve navigated this crazy job of parenthood, I’ve run into different subject matters that I didn’t want my children exposed to until their maturity developed. I suggested titles they should read and shouldn’t read along the way. THAT, ladies and gentlemen is the key. If you don’t want your child exposed to the word scrotum YOU can exercise your parental right to keep the book out of your child’s hands. However, YOU can’t make that decision for my child. For all you know we have words like scrotum, penis, and vagina stenciled on our bathroom walls to assure our children grow up knowing the different body parts. It’s not your place to decide if that’s right or wrong for MY children.
And—just a suggestion—when you’re reading Hop on Pop with your child—I don’t know—maybe you can have a quick conversation about how that would really feel to jump on a person’s stomach.
Supervision. Communication. PARENTING.
So, come on, live a little. Read a banned book to celebrate the right to read. Read it with/to your children and have an open conversation about the character’s excessive use of profanity or the consequences of having sex/doing drugs/being a bully. Be a parent and open your mind and the minds of those fine young people you are raising.
What banned books have you read? What title do you plan to read this year to celebrate the right to read?
Ripples in the Inkwell is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the second Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.