It’s Banned Book Week (well, okay, today’s the last day) but there’s been a lot of great posts about it in the kidlitosphere. What I really enjoy is that many of the books that were banned would not have come to my attention unless they’d been banned. Take And Tango Makes Three, which, according to ALA, was the most challenged book in 2006. I did not hear about this fantastic book until I heard about it being banned. A picture book about two male penguins who hatch a baby penguin? This is a book I have to have! I’ve now ordered if from my local children’s bookstore; it should be in my hands next week. And I want to say thank you to the narrow-minded people who banned this book, because now I know about it and can enjoy it. It gives me a sense of justice and happiness.
There seems to be so much fear from people that ban books, about sex–any kind, heterosexual, or, especially, lesbian or gay, and offensive language. But isn’t a book a safe place to learn about and explore any of these things? In fact, a way that encourages thought and discussion? I’d think people would want to embrace books for the way they can safely help readers explore ideas, situations, or opinions that might otherwise seem scary or that they might have to confront in real life. Books can help readers prepare for situations, and work things out. But if you’re reading this, you probably already know all that.
My suggestion to you is, if you haven’t already, is to look through the ALA’s banned book list, and see if there are any books that might appeal to you. If there are, find them and read them! No book should ever be banned.