I admit it, I used to read under the covers

Here we go again! It’s Banned Books Week!

I like this more than Halloween, even though there isn’t any Candy Corn, and if there’s chocolate, good chocolate, it’s because I bought it.

Still, as an English teacher, it’s one of those things that makes me absolutely giddy. You know I print out the list of top most challenged books and make my way through it.

I’m not a naughty girl, really. Well, maybe a little bit. Sister Dawn did catch me reading M*A*S*H when I was in the sixth grade.

Anyway, last time I checked, the Constitution is still around (I’ll reserve further comments) and we do, in fact, celebrate the freedom to pursue the kind of reading that makes us explore, challenge ourselves, grow, learn, and, well…think.

It’s not about being naughty but about being knowledgable. Banned books tend to cover themes that promote discourse, and discourse is really at the center of a free society. Freedom, though, doesn’t mean we are exempt from responsibility or discretion. Instead, it inspires guidance.

Most people rush to see the list of banned books (I’m one of them) but I also found some compelling data.

For example, look at who is responsible for challenging the most books. Yes! Parents! That is as it should be. I can’t begin to tell you about the uninspiring stacks of books I’ve read because my children were reading them, and conversely, the amazing discoveries that I missed when I was their age and was able to enjoy with them because I was paying attention to what was on their night tables. The good news is that the institutions, for the most part, are staying out of it.

But if you’re a parent, this might be a useful table. The majority of the content questioned is, in fact, naughty.

As an English teacher, I’ll almost always encourage you to read something that challenges you, but I will always encourage you to read something that will edify you. Reading scandalous texts because they are scandalous will ultimately do you more harm than good.

It turns out that 46 out of the top 100 novels of the 21st century have been challenged. I’ve read 45. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which ones.

:)

 

 

 

About these ads

3 thoughts on “I admit it, I used to read under the covers

  1. Marie says:

    How did you determine which of the 100 were challenged?
    As a librarian-in-training I love banned books week. You make a great point, though – “I’ll almost always encourage you to read something that challenges you, but I will always encourage you to read something that will edify you. Reading scandalous texts because they are scandalous will ultimately do you more harm than good.”

    I need to write that down…

    • Winnie the Pooh and Charlotte’s Web are considered top novels of the century, but only LOTR was actually challenged…for violence and occult.Those silly wizards :)

      Although I have to say, the last battle was pretty epic on screen. You can keep the creepy little goon, though.

Hi! Wanna say something? Go ahead. Be nice.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s