So Banned Book Week was a couple of weeks ago, from September 21st-27th; and so this past week in my Child Literature class our teacher had us bring in a challenged or banned book. She had preferred them to children's picture books, but said it was okay to bring a Young Adult novel. Me, being the avid reader, and lover of the YA genre, brought two...Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Now, to be honest, I have read quite a few banned books, not intentionally, because they were banned or challenged, but because I wanted and also sometimes they were part of my English Literature curriculum in high school and Jr. High; but overall, before this past Monday night (when I have my class), I didn't have much of an idea of banning books. I just always sort of assumed most people were against it, and that all people who were trying to ban books were narrow minded.
Now, I'm not sure if this post will gather some backlash, or if most people also feel this way, but after that class, I sort of realized that actually sometimes it is important to ban a book...at least for in schools, when they are not age appropriate for all students present in that school.
You may remember, a few years ago, I posted a post entitled, The Hunger Games should be BANNED!!. It got A LOT of feedback! To date, it's probably my most viewed individual post, with the most comments! I had some supporters, and some very strong backlash, mostly from people who didn't read the post all the way.
You see, I believe there are definitely certain books that should not be encouraged to be read by a child. And for one reason: subject matter.
Should a second grader be reading The Hunger Games or Twilight? Two books targeted toward ages 14 and up. Both books contain subject matter not quite appropriate for kids...murdering, fighting, war, vampires in a non-kid sense, sex (in Breaking Dawns case), and certain wording and vocabulary that an average second grader might have trouble understanding.
Now my point is, should a book that is considered to be for ages 14 and up, and even SAYS it in the book jacket!!!, be present in a junior high library?
No...in my opinion.
Now, does that mean the book should be overall banned????
NO of course not!
If a parents decides to allow their child to read a book targeted towards 14 and up, and they decide to hand that book to their child, that is completely and totally up to them! But should a child have the chance to get that type book without their parent's permission...No. I'm sorry, but I don't think so.
NOW, let me further explain something...and I'm sorry if this post gets a little confusing on my viewpoint...but maybe this will clarify it...
I DO NOT THINK A PUBLIC LIBRARY OR BOOKSTORE SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO BAN A BOOK!!!!
My point is...SCHOOLS!!!!!!
I work with elementary school kids, I think I've mentioned this before...and let me just say, that a lot of them are a lot more "grown-up" than they should be.
You should hear the mouths on some of these kids!!!
The back-talking, the eye-rolling, the disrespectful responses towards us! WOW! Completely, unbelievable. Someone I work with said something the other day, that almost makes sense...Parents today, give their kids too much freedom and encourage their kids almost too much!
Now, I'm all for encouraging your kid! Trust me! But at the same time, your kid needs to learn how to lose at a game sometimes, or to be told when they are wrong, and not always take the opposing side, just because you feel the need to stick up to your kid! That isn't how life works, and that kid is going to get a serious reality check in the future!!
Now what does that have to do with this post, you may be asking? Well, it might not mean much to some of you, but to me I believe some of it has to do with the inappropriate subject matters available for some kids in the world. And while I know, when the kids are outside of school, it's really up to the parents to make sure their kid isn't exposed to certain things, in a school setting, it can be at least avoided for a child to pick up a book that might not be appropriate for their age group!
Why are 14 and up books available in school where the kids are 11-13?
So, you see, I think, while banning books may mean something else to some people (like in a town where a group of people want to ban Harry Potter because of it's "black magic" altogether and not have it available ANYWHERE in that town, and possibly even outside of that town!) to me it means, doing the necessary censorship just so kids don't have access to certain subject books, unless they are given to their kids outside of school by their parents/guardians.
Does that make sense?
Let me make it clear one more time!!!!!
I DO NOT THINK BOOKS SHOULD BE BANNED, I think schools just need to "censor" and decide which books are age appropriate for their school libraries!!!!
Now, I know that most school libraries do this, but some don't!
I know this post sounds probably somewhat rambly, but overall I just somehow found this past Monday night's class really interesting, because it kind of broadened my outlook on the whole subject of banned books. :)
The Romance Bookie :)