I recently read an article about book bans (Book Bans are Back in Style) and if you would have been listening closely at that point in time, you probably could have heard me audibly cringe. As a book lover and believer that the best way to understand other people, places, and things is through a good book. Books are low-risk ways to understand the challenges that other people facing. The purpose of a book is not necessarily to sway someone to the author's way of thinking but rather to allow the reader to step outside themselves and to examine things through a different lens. While book bans have never gone away (ALA's list of frequently challenged books is fascinating albeit sad reading each year), it is so depressing to me that this is a fight we are still fighting. It is particularly sad to see that not only are we still fighting book bans but that the number of complaints and challenges are actually increasing.
So many of the books that the article mentions are so fantastic and some of them I even count among my favorite books. I hate that there are so many people that might be missing out on these wonderful books. I am hopeful more people see the goodness of these books and the goodness of our children being able to use critical thinking skills to determine what they do/ do not like and what they should/ should not think. Personally, I have always been thankful that my parents never restricted what I read. I think they were just so happy I was reading that they never policed any of it (looking at you, V.C. Andrews).
In all seriousness, I am hopeful that the tides will turn again and book bans will fade away. I'm not sure how you solve this issue. Is it promoting tolerance? Curiosity? Education?
How do you feel about book bans?