This week, Sept 27 – October 3 is Banned Books Week 2015.
This week on Amanda’s Nose in a Book we will be celebrating our right to read during Banned Books Week. I for one was always the child who became more curious about a book as soon as I found out it was challenged or banned. I sought out those books and devoured them, often loving them and recommending them to my friends.
It might surprise you, as it does me every single year that books written for Young Adults continue to be censored and banned or challenged by adults who believe that they are not appropriate for children.
Yes. This is still happening. In 2015.
Mind blown, right? Shouldn’t we be past this?
Books are banned for many reasons, but most are banned due to the subject material being seen as inappropriate for children or teenagers by other adults. See reasons why books are banned here and here.
That brings us to the question: what is appropriate or inappropriate for students to read?
Answer, it depends on the child. Some kids might be able to handle certain topics or subjects better than others. Most books that are published today have an age group in mind and while they talk about difficult subjects, they are done so with the experiences many children face every day in mind.
Authors don’t just talk about sex, assault, racism, poverty, or other tough subjects without the age level and the maturity of the audience that will be reading that book in mind. Think about it. Kids today see and go through a lot of terrible things. Talking about these topics in books not only tell kids that they are not alone, but they help to educate kids about what their peers might be going through.
So should books be banned at all?
No. Not even the crappiest of all crappy books. Censoring books because a parent or group thinks they’re “bad” due to the content is wrong. Don’t get me wrong– if a parent doesn’t want their child to read a book, that’s fine and dandy. But trying to make it so that book isn’t accessible to a school, district, or kids in any school is B.S.
And I can almost guarantee that children will seek out the book that parents/teachers/school districts are so up in arms about. Telling a child a book/show/movie is forbidden will only make them want it more.