I don’t believe in banning books, period. I love Banned Book Week, because it’s like a giant “na-ni-na-ni-boo-boo” to people who want to keep books away from others. I mean, when you’re told you can’t have something, that it’s unsuitable, it just appeals to that juvenile side of my personality and make me want to read it.
It’s not like all the books that have been banned are exactly pieces of high quality literature. Sometimes there are even legitimate complaints one could make about them. I have the most sympathy for books that aren’t taught thoughtfully and carefully, and can end up entrenching stereotypes presented rather than critically examining them. But that’s an argument for more reading and better teaching, not the opposite.
Last weekend I was in my favorite city, the Big Apple, aka NYC, where I visited the New York Public Library. Their exhibit on children’s books featured one of my favorites, The Phantom Tollbooth. I loved the book when I was growing up. I read it again a couple years ago and was just as captivated.
The story of Milo actually becoming interested in the world around him and taking off on an adventure is a perfect book for children to read.
This week I’m planning about posting about at least two other Banned Books I read recently, Ellen Hopkins’ Cranked and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. In many ways, they are at opposite ends of the literary spectrum, but their banning has brought them closer together 😉