And as they have done for years, the American Library Association (ALA) is encouraging us to consider the various books that have been challenged, if not outright banned...from public schools, from public libraries. See that's where I have a problem. I don't mind if you don't want your child to read a particular book, and believe me, most schools these days are quick to offer an alternative read to any student whose parent objects. What I have a problem with is when you try to tell me that my child can't read that book either! And yes, I know, I've read the argument that nothing is to stop my child from reading it at home...just like nothing is to stop my child from sharing it with your child after school, when they are hanging out together, and the subject comes up...and it will.
But public schools and libraries are supposed to be a place of learning...of opening minds, thinking new thoughts, seeing the world in a new way. When the only ideas students are allowed to think in school are familiar ones, where is the education? Instead that is inculcation, the injecting of someone's morals into that child, with no discussion allowed as to whether or not that child agrees.
So as an English teacher, and as an independent thinker, I strongly encourage you to pick up a banned book and enjoy being a rebel! There's still a few days left in the official Banned Books week, but you can read them anytime and enjoy them.
The AARP published a list of the 50 books most objected to, including To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, and the Harry Potter stories, along with the Twilight series. Some are well-written and considered classics. Some are poorly-written and will be forgotten in a few years' time, when the initial popularity has worn thin. But all have ideas that someone considers dangerous for young people to contemplate. Honestly? With all the media stimulation that today's young people are exposed to, do you really feel that a well-written book that presents adult content in a way that allows them to imagine it, rather than be bombarded with images that might be truly disturbing, is so hazardous? (Have your kids seen Saw?)
BTW, my teen-aged daughter found the Twilight books to be rather dull, but she loves the movies because of the abs on the werewolves! Okay, at least as her mother who is also an erotic romance writer, we can agree on something!