September 30, 2011

TGIF {2}

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads. Each week she poses a question and everyone is invited to join in and share their answers :]

This Week's Question:

 Banned Books: How do you feel about the censorship of the freedom to read? Do you think the education system needs to be more strict on what children are exposed to in books?

Until blogging brought it to my attention, I wasn't aware that people actually banned books. It seems like such an absurd thought. How is it possible that we allow just a few people to decide what we can and cannot read? Instead of taking away books because they may "pollute" a child/teen's mind, we should be allowing them to read and broaden their thoughts and horizons. I learned many things through my reading over the years that no one ever bothered to tell me, but the theme most prominent? I learned that no matter my age I actually have a voice. Society is afraid of the youth learning of their voice and right to opinion. 

In my research of banned books, I discovered one of the most popular reasons for banning is this: "unsuited to age group." Tell me this, is it only suited to the age group if it's about rainbows and unicorns and fluffy puppies and happily ever after? I think we all know the answer to that one, but some would just rather ignore it. Life happens in the real world whether we ban it in the books or not. Crank by Ellen Hopkins? Drugs are out there teens are doing them. Why not give them a chance to read a real, raw depiction of it rather sticking to the "just say no" mantra that obviously isn't working? Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson? Rape most assuredly happens though many girls don't speak out. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins? It's a futuristic world where everything is taken to extremes for goodness sake. Yes, it's violent, but what is it really about? It's about a girl rising up and using her voice to stand up for something she believes.

I know I went on a rent there for a bit, but I'm a firm believer in children and teens having the right to choose what they read. Books have the ability to open you up to a world no one else will mention.

Research done on Wikipedia and Banned Books Week.

1 comment:

  1. Speak is another book that I dove into knowing virtually nothing about it from the start. I knew it was in the "adolescent lit" category and that the narrator spent some time doing some artwork trying to express herself. I was not at all ready for the deeply emotional and heart wrenching story of the novel. This isn't by any means a piece of adolescent "fluff" like the flood of teen books flooding the market in recent years. Rather it is an intense exploration of a teenager struggling with alienation, self-worth, honesty and change. It's about the struggle she goes through in trying to find her voice in the midst of emotional turmoil. With very few exceptions, the main character, Melinda, has gone mute. She speaks only when silence is absolutely unavoidable and even then, her words don't speak her true thoughts. As the title implies, she spends the novel trying to find a way to speak her mind, to find her voice. This book masterfully explores the communication barriers between adolescents and their peers and the adults in their lives.


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