Banned Books

I just read Laurie Halse Anderson’s blog about attempts to ban 2 of her books: Twisted and Speak. Here is what she had to say:

At the elementary school level, where I have worked for the last 7 years, a principal tried to ban Captain Underpants because he felt the language was not appropriate for K-5 students to read (remember Professor Poopy Pants?).  When parent after parent took the mic at a PTO meeting, describing how Dav Pilkey’s books enticed their reluctant readers (mostly boys) to pick up a book and read it, the principal backed down.  Had he read any of the books?  No; a few vocal parents complained when their children brought the books home and he took a stand.

I believe that most attempts to ban books are made by people who never read, or finished, the titles.  Rather, they are influenced by peer pressure to be “good parents” and protect their children.  I’m not surprised by this, especially in our age of helicopter parenting.  Good parents read the books, watch the TV shows, see the movies, and listen to the music that their children are reading/watching/seeing/listening to and then use that as a springboard to discuss family values vs. the values in the media.  As Anderson said in her letter, even Jesus taught by storytelling, and his stories were not about the redeemed ones, but rather about those who made bad choices then “saw the light.”


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