Sunday, October 4, 2009

Banned Books

When I first started looking up banned books, I expected to find a list of books I had never heard of. However, when I started my research, I found that I knew almost every single book on the list! I had read almost all of them and some of them had been favorites of mine when I was younger. For example, I was shocked to see that The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein was on the list of banned books. I never saw anything wrong with it, but apparently it is sexist, and therefore must be banned. I was also shocked to see the book Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes on the list. I recently read Olive’s Ocean for a literature class last semester. The book won a Newbury Honor and I believe it is a valuable book for children to read. However, according to the banned books list, it has too many mature themes such as death and puberty.
While I understand that some books are too racist or outright offensive, I feel that some people have become too sensitive when it comes to books. These same themes that books are being banned for are coming up again and again on TV, on billboards, and throughout many other types of media, and no one is doing anything to ban these themes from those types of media. To me, some people are getting a bit overzealous when it comes to banning books. Just because a child reads a poem about breaking dishes instead of washing them and sees a picture accompanying the poem, does not mean the child will start to break dishes instead of washing them as well.

1 comment:

  1. You raise an important point regarding the continuity of issues. If they don't get it through books, they'll likely get it via some other medium. This provides an even more compelling reason for creating space using books to take up these difficult issues.