It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I can’t ignore Banned Books Week.
So many of the top challenged books of 2016 are children’s and young adult books. Would I let my children read sexually explicit or violent books or books with excessive profanity (as determined by me)? No, because as a parent, it’s my job to parent my kids. I don’t leave this responsibility up to my neighbor, my congressman, or my local library. It’s my job.
Banning books is a suppression of first amendment rights. Challenging books based on your personal belief system is ignorant, presumptuous, and oppressive. I respect your right to have your own personal beliefs and ethics but don’t force them on me. That’s not your job.
There is one positive thing about banning/challenging books: it raises awareness of topics that some people would prefer that society remains ignorant of like LGBT, growing up and maturing, what it means to be transgender, opposing viewpoints, sex education, and what some people believe to be excessive profanity or sexually explicit. Knowledge is power and understanding opposing viewpoints is to understand someone who isn’t exactly like you.
I welcome Banned Books Week every year and enjoy thinking about, looking at, and even rereading the banned/challenged books residing on my bookshelves and acquiring new books every year as well. I hope that by raising awareness and spotlighting these books every year that one mind, at least, is changed and encouraged to be more accepting and open.