Banned books *sigh!*

13 10 2008

OK, folks, we’re living in the 21st century, and are able think about books and why they might have been written, so why are we talking about banning books?

Yes, there are books inappropriate for children, so we don’t put buy them for children, but we don’t necessarily ban them totally.

Other books have issues that need to be discussed with children, turning problematic issues into life lessons:

  • Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer include slavery issues, and kids (and adults) need to be aware of the history of slavery, the time in which these books were set, and problems in that era of befriending a slave and helping one to escape.
  • Slaughterhouse Five has a historical setting: Kurt Vonnegut was a WWII POW. He was held in Dresden in the basement of a slaughterhouse – number 5 to be specific. Which probably helped save his life when Dresden was firebombed by the Allies. So, this book, based on the author’s experience in one of the most horrific settings of the biggest war of the 20th century, is – SURPRISE! – violent, has strong language, etc.
  • Fahrenheit 451 is about book banning, censorship and government oppressiveness. And people are concerned about aspects of the book that were common in the 50’s & 60’s: smoking, swearing and drinking. I guess the people who rail against this particular book are unfamiliar with Ronald Regan, the Brat Pack or anything else of significance from the 50’s & 60’s. Better not let them watch Grease!
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