As part of this year’s Banned Book Week Celebration, we are answering questions posed by the American Library Association.
The short answer is– all of them, any of them, each and every one of them! The longer answer is that nobody, NOBODY has a right to tell me or anyone else what they can and cannot read and think. To be sure there are some books that I would be happier to go to jail for than others…including:
To Kill a Mockingbird – Who would deny anyone the right to reach into the mind of Scout Finch and think about racism in America and what it has done to our communities and our children?
Harry Potter – Why would anyone try to deny children (or adults) the pleasures of the complex and imaginative world of Hogwarts, and the rich story of courage, loyalty and love that is found in all seven of the books in this series?
Daddy’s Roommate – Because families come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and gender mixtures, and kids deserve the opportunity to read stories that reflect the world in all its glorious diversity.
It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex & Sexual Health – What purpose is served by prohibiting children who are curious about their physical development from finding out about themselves in a clear and factual way? Certainly if parents want to talk about these matters with their kids themselves, that is fine, but no one should try to deny access to information on this topic to other parents and kids who are looking for it.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time — What right does anyone have to keep a wonderful story like this out of other people’s hands because they don’t like profanity or because it does not reflect their religious views? None, I say!
So, those are a few of my favorite books that other people have tried to keep out of libraries and therefore keep away from other people. There are many, many other books that have been challenged or banned that are not my favorites; books that I don’t like the content of, or that offend me personally, however I would risk jail to defend any of them and my right…YOUR right to read them!
∼Krista, NL Library Director