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Monday, October 08, 2007

Banning Books in the Good Old USA!

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If you ban books then you ban the opportunity for learning. As our society changes and the probability of bad experiences that our children may encounter in their lives, the children are the ones that must understand and learn prevention in books that our schools put on their reading lists.

As parents, we watch the perverts and animals that are child predators on the television magazine programs and are horrified that such people exist. Yes, people are out there that will harm your children and they are closer than you think to your children. Fifteen feet from the television that you just watched one monster after another caught trying to have sex with a child or possibly worse is the family computer that welcomes those same animals into your home.

Reading books lets the child live in the mind of the character and feel what the character feels when humiliated, when happy, when scared, or for that matter assaulted. In the eyes and mind of the child reading the words written they learn what can happen if they are not vigilant for their own persona. Children get more out of books than they will out of a parent yelling and preaching the Charlie Brown teacher do’s and do not!

Over at the Chicago Tribune they have this latest opinion on parent’s wanting to ban books from seventh graders reading lists…

Parents' input--not book--gets banned
By Dennis Byrne a Chicago-area writer and consultant
October 8, 2007

Parents concerned about the quality of books their children must read in school don't deserve the ridicule and condemnation that rain down on them.

But, as surely as Columbus Day shows up every year, October brings with it Banned Books Week, the annual high-minded whacking of such parents for their supposed intolerance. Dare disagree or suggest that teachers and school administrators are making children read age-inappropriate material and you run the risk of being labeled reactionary, illiterate or worse, a conservative Christian.

Of this haughty nastiness, we have no finer example than John H. Kinzie Elementary School on the Southwest Side, where some parents objected to 7th graders being required to read Robert Cormier's "The Chocolate War."

It's a controversial book about Catholic high school students being terrorized by autocratic religious brothers and an unchecked secret society of physically and psychologically brutal students. In one chapter, a bully nearly beats another student to a pulp in front of the entire student body of 400 cheering, bloodthirsty boys, with the head brother's snickering approval.
- Chicago Tribune

As a father of FIVE daughters, I want my children to read about real life and the works and books that point out the evils of the world and how to avoid it. Granted the book that they want to ban is fiction, most young teen books are. In the content and overall story of every book is a thesis and an idea to learn something that can help the reader.

I read Peter Benchley’s novel Jaws when I was a young teenager and it scared the crap out of me but it also taught me to respect the ocean. Number one, you don’t going swimming alone at night in the ocean. Number two is that you sometimes have to stand up and face the monsters in your community for the greater good. I read Stephen King’s The Stand as a young adult and it taught me more about right and wrong than the Bible ever did. There is good in this world and there is evil in our world, the two will never mix and it is up to all of us to make sure that they never do mix. Pick an author and a book and you as a person walk away with a life long learning thought and a character in the back of your mind that you know personally that should have done X instead of Y.

Romance novels are the exception to the rule. Damn you Nora Roberts! Yes, I’ve read several of her novels and I go to meetings. Inspiration comes from many avenues as a writer and Nora Roberts is a gift from God! I hate her talent with jealousy but I admire her written work because she is more than capable as a writer of putting into words the feelings, emotions, and life lessons from the female mind onto the written page that is a book. Five daughters… Hello? Research purposes force me to read her books. That is my story and I’m sticking with it.

Your child will learn more from reading one book than they will in fifty hours of watching MTV or any television broadcast focused on young teens. For that matter, the more serious danger to your kids is fifteen feet from you television and it says that you have mail. Protecting your child from any books sends them the wrong message. Bad people are out there and you can only protect the child so much. Reading a book on what happened or is imagined by the writer that happened to a child of their own age brings the blah, blah, blah of what mom and dad say all the time into the open mind and the thought process of the child through the eyes of a well written character.

Banning any book is always a bad idea, offering alternative books is best. Same teachers, same lesson, different characters in the book.

Tell me if you thought of Mice and Men, or George Orwell 1984 was stupid when you had to read it but look back now and ask yourself if it did effect your life decisions? Pick any book you read as a teen or pre teen and apply the same question!

Link to this post if you are against banning books and tell your friends to do so too!

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