Since Banned Book Week is still going on, I figured I would blog about my own opinions on the subject. I find the whole thing kind of silly. Ban books that are written specifically for children and young adults? Young adults are naïve and they never experience what the teenagers in these banned books do. Right? Well, here’s a list of a couple of books that have been banned.
In case you cannot see it, Where’s Waldo is shown on that list. I mean really? Finding Waldo in a crowd of people must be a serious crime. Using your detecting skills and your brain is a dangerous thing apparently. And yet, I still see kids reading those books today and none of them seem to have acquired bad habits from reading it. Another one I am confused about (and always have been) is the Harry Potter series. Apparently, Harry Potter promotes witchcraft in children because children cannot possibly realize that fiction means imagination. I read Harry Potter so that must mean that I believe that magic is real and that Vol-I mean, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is out to get me because I am a muggle. I have not met one person who believes that Harry Potter is a non-fiction book.
So, does banning books eliminate children who could possibly enjoy reading? Well, in my mind, if you tell a child or teenager that a certain book is banned, they will read it just to spite you. They will read it just because you told them not to. So, maybe they will read it anyway.
I saw these two quotes:
The first quote is about the burning of books to destroy a culture. This reminds me strongly of the Nazi book burning. They tried to destroy a culture but yet that culture still exists today. So, banning books might be the next step in trying to ignore what books are showing us. Which is the reasoning behind the second quote. Could we possibly be banning these books because we are afraid of the light in which they place the world? People do not want to believe that there is darkness in the world or that teenagers have to experience hardships to discover who they are and who they want to be. In my opinion, I would rather let young adults read about the real world (drugs, sex, alcohol, etc.) in a book than actually go out and experience all these things themselves because they are curious.
Now, I will finish my ranting and leave with this last quote from Judy Blume:
Banning books is silly. The only positive is that in banning a book, a student may want to read the book just because they are not allowed. I would rather have my students chase their imagination and read about other worlds and lives than have them be robots reading books that do not teach them anything about real life. Children and teenagers do not live in a world with rainbows and sunshine while they ride around on the back of unicorns. Banning books is just a way to ignore what life is really about and what challenges everyone eventually has to face.