What's on my mind.

01 October 2008

Banned Book?

It's National Banned Book Week.

I believe that school libraries should have age appropriate books. First off, there are books with content that is appropriate for high schoolers that are not appropriate for elementary students. Secondly, they have limited resources and need to spend it on books the students can actually benefit from. I think librarians can figure out what books meet the above criteria, it's why we hire them. I don't believe in censoring the ideas in books.

Out of curiosity, I looked at several lists of challenged books* ('Challenge' is the polite library word for asking for a book to removed from the shelves and the process of getting books removed.) Many I understand why a parent (or whomever) challenged the book - sex, drugs, impolite language,... I don't agree but I understand why someone might object to the book. Some truly baffled me.

One group of books on the lists are 'what the hell is happening to me/your guide to puberty and adolescence' books. These aren't fiction books that a kid might think is interesting because of the back cover and then learn all about Heather's two mommies. How often did you peruse the human development section of your library as a preteen? Probably not often, unless you had questions which these types of books address. And you were probably directed there by someone (parent, teacher, counselor). Oddly enough (or not so) parents (and others) objected more often to informing girls about puberty and their bodies than boys.

"The Light in the Attic" is a book of often silly, sometimes profound, poetry written and illustrated Shel Silverstein. I'm going to have to get my copy out and read it because I can not figure out what could be so offensive to some overly sensitive reader in that book. Any of you guys have a guess?

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