Rebecca and I stopped by our local library on Monday. She wanted to check out the Harry Potter audio books and I just love being around all those books so it’s not hard to get me in there. As we sat and read a bit, she noticed this sign:
And she was appalled.
The books highlighted on the shelf included Moby-Dick, The Diary of Anne Frank, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. “What do you mean these books are banned? I’ve read some of them!” she cried.
“The sign on To Kill a Mockingbird says it’s a filthy, trashy novel! Who said that? Have they read it?” She was really, really hot.
My heart soared. My dear child knows how wrong it is to ban books, even books she might find disagreeable or offensive. My child lives in a world that doesn’t have a category for banned books. The libertarian in me was thrilled!
We spent some time talking about why the books were banned and/or challenged and what books were commonly banned, like Animal Farm, The Catcher in the Rye and, on a more recent list of banned and challenged books, The Giver.
“What?! The Giver is all about not letting people think for themselves! It’s all about government telling you what to do. It’s just like this, just like putting books on a banned list.” She was truly astonished.
And then she said, “Why would the library want to ban books?!”
Oh. Apparently we don’t talk about Banned Books Week in our home school…
When I explained the purpose of Banned Books Week she was beyond relieved to learn her beloved librarians weren’t out burning books in the library dumpster. But she was astonished that people, in this day and age, were still trying to ban books. “If you don’t like it, don’t read it,” was her response.
Sounds like a good slogan for Banned Books Week.
I may have neglected to tell her about people who want to ban books, but at least I passed on my libertarian leanings. I’ll call that a win.
Glad we got this cleared up!
Banned Books Week is this week, September 27 - October 3. Want to read up on the week? The homepage of the celebration has lots of good info and links. Go read a book!