Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Why Ban Books?

Why Ban Books?

Banned Book Week is a special time in the book community to celebrate literacy freedom. The freedom to read whatever we like, when we like. Why in the first place are books banned? By what criteria do they ban these books? Why should we ban books at all?

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the definition of book as:
1. "a set of written, printed, or blank sheets bound together into a volume"
2."a long written or printed literary composition"
3.  "something that yields knowledge or understanding"

If a book is set of written or printed literary composition that yields knowledge and understanding then there should obviously be no reason to ban books.

Usually books are either banned or challenged due to their content. Content that may relate to issues of sex, violence, and drugs (maybe even the government). In most cases in the US, books that are usually banned are the ones for children that are usually school-aged  School is the time when we start to set our fundamental values that usually set us for life. Because generally school involves children, parents and some educators, have taken the liberty and deemed these books as "unfit" for children.  I loved this article which talked about banned books . I was surprised to find some of my most loved books as a child on that list. Dr.Dolittle, Call of the Wild, and  Black Beauty. These are the stories in which I have cherished in my heart for a very long time. 

 I remember the Call of the Wild in particular because I remembered having to 1) read it in 8th grade as a challenge 2) write a rewrite in 10th grade from the dog's pov. It was an amazing experience for me and I have never looked back. Why? At first I was reluctant to read this book, it had looked boring and thin and it seemed something I would not like at all. But when I started reading it I slowly fell in love. I hate to admit ( because it incredibly sappy) but this book opened my eyes. I could see everything , I felt as if my brain expanded and somehow I wrote something amazing from this book. I was greatly praised for my reinterpretation of the book by my principal,teacher, and students alike and it made me happy. As you can see. I would never experienced  this if I had never gotten the opportunity to read this book.

Another argument that comes up is : "some books are bad for children!" And I say to you are so are people,movies, and tv shows, and other kids. All these, not only books influence your children. So why don't you also ban these as well? ( I am pretty sure your child would NEVER agree to that...please don't even try).  Even the most simple of movies have some subliminal messages that you never even think to be in a movie or tvshow ( Yes I am so talking to you Sesame Street!)so as a parent or educator you need to be very careful. 

I am not saying to ban everything that is a form of entertainment or expansion of horizons I am just trying to let you see as a reader, where I am coming from. You can't keep your children in the dark about these things, because when they get to experience something similar to whatever "issue" ( meaning sex and drugs) they are the ones that will come back and say "Mommy why didn't you tell me this?" or "Mommy how do I go through this?" or maybe ( teens often do) wont tell you at all. I think its better as the person that guides them in life ( as a parent or an educator) that you would actually encourage these books  sit down and take the time to explain the books content. 

Please Stop By Later This Week For Part 2

Please Note: The statements in this post are thoughts of my own and are not intending to harm or hurt others in any type of way. This is just my personal opinion .


  1. Good thoughts. :)Call of the Wild is a good book.

  2. Totally agree! Some books that are "banned" are banned/challenged for completely ridiculous reasons. I personally think kids/teens will self-censor, especially with reading. Some of the things they won't even notice (like the little "messages" adults notice in kids shows).

    Anyhow, I'm stopping in from the YALitchat, and thought I'd say hi. :)

    Amanda @ Letters Inside Out