"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Banned Book Week

We're right in the middle of it, more or less, and I was thinking that I should make a comment or two, and then I ran across this post by Batocchio at Vagabond Scholar. He pretty much says everything I was going to say, and probably much more politely. Read it. It's long, but read it.

One thing to notice, and that's the frequency with which "age appropriateness" comes up as a reason for objecting to books. Batocchio addresses that issue quite nicely (from last year's post on the subject):

I'm not dismissive of parental anxieties, but as with questions brought up by students in class, normally they can be addressed. Racial slurs in Huck Finn, The Elephant Man and Invisible Man can and are discussed in the classroom, and that's usually a better, safer place to do so. The reality is that parental discomfort generally emerges when a parent doesn't want to discuss something with their kid. Age and maturity are legitimate issues, of course, but teenagers are often more mature or informed than their parents admit. It's that same maturity, not the lack of it, that can further unnerve an anxious parent. Navigating all this is an important part of growing up for students, and a crucial part of good parenting for the parents. Challenging a book is often just a proxy for deeper issues...

Kids are able to handle a lot more than parents want to admit.

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