There’s a lot of blogger buzz right now about the upcoming banned book week. I’m not a big fan of controversy but to enter many of the banned book week giveaways there is a requirement to post about censorship and banned books. So I’m chiming in with my opinion.
My take on Banned Book Week: All books have their place, but not all books belong on every shelf.
I believe it’s my responsibility as a parent to know what my children are watching, playing and reading. I don’t allow my children to watch R rated movies. I’m selective on which PG-13 movies I allow them to watch. Rated “M” video games are not allowed in our home. Although books don’t come with ratings I feel certain books are not appropriate for my children to read.
I believe in age appropriateness when it comes to books, movies and video games. Take the recent controversy over the book Speak. I’m a fairly conservative reader and I’ve read Speak. It’s a well written, powerful book, but I wouldn’t allow my children to read it at this point in their lives. It’s not age appropriate for my 10 year old daughter. If asked I would object if it were on the library shelves at our elementary school. However I feel Speak is a book that would be appropriate on the shelves of a high school.
I do admit there are certain books that I personally will never be old enough to read. I’m not a fan of strong language, graphic sex and gory violence in books, movies or television. There are many books I have put down or decided not to read due to their content. I’m not saying those books should be removed from a public library, but I am saying it’s my right as an informed reader to choose the books I will and won’t read. That’s not censorship, that’s making a choice on what is right for me.
All books have their place, just not on my shelf.
Finally just a thought that keep going through my head.
Dear Book Banners,
If you don’t want someone to read a book the worst thing you could do is try to get it banned. It draws attention to a book and it ends up being read by more people. I’ve seen at least a dozen giveaways for the book Speak in the past week. I’d never heard of Ellen Hopkins books until she was uninvited to the Book Festival.
This is just my opinion, if you disagree I respect your right to have your own opinion.