Why the Ban?
By: Jordann Prather
Banned Book Week is fairly well known in the literary world. Prior to this years banned book week, I had never given it much thought. Recently, I came across this list of banned children’s books. After reading some of the outrageous reasons the books were banned, my interest was piqued. Another collection of banned children’s books is from HarperCollins Children’s. Both lists include a great many books I have read, most of which were as a child. Some of these banned books lists include the Harry Potter series, which came to no surprise, due to the fact that the banning of this particular series has been highly publicized. Another book, on the Huffington Post list, was James and the Giant Peach. This book did come as a surprise to me. As a child, I loved both the book and the movie, and still do today. Now that I am an adult and can look back on my childhood, I feel like neither the Harry Potter series, nor James and the Giant Peach, were damaging for me to read as an impressionable adolescent. If anything, my love for these books furthered my passion for reading. When I discovered the reason a school in Texas gave for banning James and the Giant Peach, I was shocked. This being because the reason the book was banned was because it contains the word “ass.” Now, maybe in 1999 the word “ass” wasn’t as commonly used as it is today (I doubt it), but I’m pretty confident a child reading James and the Giant Peach wouldn’t be surprised or confused to come across this word. Nowadays, you walk outside and a whole colorful variety of curse words are around for ears of all ages to hear. Banning one children’s book for such an arbitrary reason isn’t going to stop a child from coming across these words.
Instead of looking for something wrong in children’s books, why don’t we look for what’s right. Any readers out there have a fond memory of a children’s book that is on one of these banned books list? If you could give a counter argument to these schools that are so fond of banning books, what would it be? This blogger, has some great reasons why some books that have been banned, shouldn’t be.
I would love to hear different thoughts and opinions on why the readers, teachers, and parents out there agree or disagree with the banning of children’s books.