It’s banned books week and no doubt every respectable book blog has featured a post about it in the last few days. It’s a great way to spread the message. At the same time these post make one scratch their head. Aren’t we well into the 21st century nowadays? Banning and burning books sounds so medieval, but the sad truth is censure and banns are hard at work in some parts of the world.
Usually it is parents crying out against certain books and schools meekly taking them off the shelves. Yes, not every book is suitable for younger readers, but age guidance stickers (or something similar) do not equal removing books from school libraries. And let’s face it – television shows, movies, and video games feature far more disturbing content than books. There’s always the option of closing the book. Required reading is combed through for age inappropriate content anyway, and usually read under teacher guidance, so the chance for some trauma to come from a few swear-words or sexual content is minimal. I’m all for reading challenging books in school, books that make one think and grow. Even fairy tales are violent and bloody (if not sanitized by well-meaning parents). How else are the children going to learn to navigate this world if we remove everything that might surprise or shock them?
Stop banning books in schools is all I ask. I’m fully supporting reading banned books in show of support to those who would like to see this practice a thing of the past.