Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I thought this was America!

Check out this fascinating interactive map of book bans and challenges across America. And here is a list of the 100 most frequently challenged books from 1990-2000. The list is full of classic children's literature that would be criminal to deprive kids of. Books like: "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", "The Witches", "A Wrinkle In Time", "To Kill A Mockingbird", "A Light In The Attic", "The Giver","Slaughterhouse-Five", "The Outsiders", "James And The Giant Peach"(what?), "In The Night Kitchen"(whaaat?!) and topping the list is one of my all time favorites from grade school. The fantastic, spooky and fun "Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark".

This all reminds me of a something Neil Gaiman wrote addressing the immediate knee-jerk response to ban his children's book "Coraline" from certain libraries because it was seen as too scary for kids to handle:

”And my answer to 'is Coraline too scary for six year olds' is, I don't know. What sort of thing does your six year old like? I think a good rule of thumb would be, that if your child can cope with The Nightmare Before Christmas and the original Wizard of Oz then they should be able to cope with Coraline just fine. As a general rule, Coraline the book is much creepier for adults than it is for kids, who tend to read it as an adventure."

Seems like a level headed answer to the question. Instead of banning books, know your kids. And please respect their intelligence. (Unless of course you have stupid children)

1 comment:

  1. I am going to strap my children down and force their eyes open ala Clockwork Orange and read them Scary Stories books. Those things are absolutely terrifying.