Recently I was listening to NPR on my way to work and was extremely frustrated when one of the topics of discussion was a children's book that the publishers were pulling because it portrayed two of George Washington's slaves as "happy."
Seriously? Because we are too stupid as a people to know that slavery was a horrible existence for too many in our countries early history and teach that to our children as we read them a book where they may have a gotten a made up fact wrong? Seriously?!
Here begins my rant: Censorship is not okay. Why limit the amount of teachable moments and narrow the minds of those who chomp at the bit to expand it? What happened to critical thinking, which leads to critical learning (at this point, I'd accept learning period)? Why encourage complacency and a life filled with monochromatic thought?
We can't afford to make minds smaller in a world that lumps giant categories of people in small one world titles (you know what I'm talking about without me even having to say it). Why does the saying have to be "don't judge a book by its cover"? I say, "Don't judge at all. Leave that to Jesus."
I will never be okay with book bans. I think banning a book is akin to telling something they are too stupid to come up with their own thoughts and ideas and here is what to think complete with presuppositions. No thanks, I've seen your worldview; I need more light. End rant.
In case you were wondering what a banned book might look like, the America Library Association (ala.org) has a list. Here are some of my favorites:
I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (just the mere mention of this book invokes sobs)
Forever by Judy Blume (the queen of banned book list)
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (quite possibly the most fought over and most often found on high school reading lists)
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (and this one hurts the most as it is in my top five favorite book)
I encourage you to check and see if your favorite book has made it on the list. And if it has, make sure to read it to your children.
|PS I knew I found the one when The Cable Guy told me his favorite book is The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, which is also in my top five...and also on the ban list...|