This week Jessica from Sweet Green Tangerine is talking about banned books. You should definitely pop on over and check out her blog. I wasn't going to write anything this week for The Book Chat. I thought well I've never read a banned book. I don't think books should be banned but what do I really have to say about it?
Then I woke up this morning and read Jessica's post.
She includes a link to a list of banned books...and...hey wait a minute! I've read a lot of those banned books!
So then of course I had to play around on Goggle and find out why they were banned.
In general I think the idea of banning a book is just ridiculous. Read the book's synopsis. Decide whether or not you want to read the book. If it's not something you would enjoy or has a topic you don't agree with then don't read it. Don't tell other people they can't or shouldn't read it.
When it comes to the books selected to be in a school library or included in class curriculum I think you start to walk a fine line. Very fine. You have lots of children. The children have parents. The parents all have their own views on what's acceptable and what isn't. Of course there are books out there that Noah is to young to read. I think the books available for the kids in a school library need to be age appropriate. If say a parent wants to allow their child to read something not really right for their age group there's always the public library. But then that brings me back to Junie B. Jones. I don't have an issue with her but another parent might. See how this gets confusing?
In a class curriculum the classics are the classics. To Kill a Mockingbird is on that list of banned books. I remember reading this book in school. It is definitely controversial. It has language and plot points that are inappropriate. But it's a classic. It's part of out literary past and you can't take that away.
The truth is I don't know what the right answer is to the whole banned books issue. I just know what my opinions are. I think it really comes down to choosing the right book for yourself. Don't try to choose for other people.
Just get out there and read something!