Sunday, September 27, 2009

Celebrating Books!!!

It is currently Banned Books Week. It is the week, sponsored by the American Library Association, celebrating the freedom of written expression. Though no books have been banned in years, many books today are still questioned and challenged. And, for this reason, it is this time to celebrate just those books.

I have never been shy in sharing my thoughts on this subject. I am firmly against any censorship in books. As a parent myself, many are probably wondering if I would let my 4 year old read (or be read) such books as A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein or Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling or maybe even Go Ask Alice by Anonymous. The answer is YES!!!!! I would let him read these books . . . just maybe not right now!!!! Books are written for specific age groups in mind for a reason. I believe that developmentally, children may not be ready for specific books. The understanding and maturity are just not there. But, when it is there, this is exactly my motto that I intend to follow . . .

I will READ the book(s) in question prior to my children reading them. If there are specific topics or passages that are of concern to me, I will make a note . . . questions, comments, etc. I will think about what questions may arise from my child's mind when s/he reads this book. And, I will prepare to my utmost ability before handing the book to my child.

I will then SPEAK to my child(ren) about the book. I will ask him if he has questions or concerns. Then I will continue to share my thoughts, questions, comments . . . maybe as a whole family at the dinner table (or maybe not depending on the content or appropriateness for my daughter at the time)! This could happen as he reads the book or after the book is complete. Either way will work for me. I may just follow the child's lead on this one!

I KNOW in my heart that this will only improve the relationship with my child(ren). By sharing this experience with my child(ren) . . . by sharing the world with my child(ren) beyond our front doors through books . . . I feel that I will be better preparing my child(ren) for the real world. My child(ren) will know what exists in the world, will be better able to appreciate and empathize, and will be better able to make a difference in the world. Afterall, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!

Are my expectations high?!? Sure!! Yet, I will still strive to live by this pledge!!

And, in honor of Banned Books Week, I am going to attempt to read at least one book that has been challenged or banned. I'm not sure which book it will be yet, but I'm hoping to have it finished AND reviewed by the end of the week!!

How are you celebrating Banned Books Week?

Interested in reading more great posts about our freedom to read? Then I highly suggest you check links out:

For more information on Banned Books Week, visit the American Library Association website devoted to our title week!

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