Is there a place for banned books? I think there is. Some books require a degree of maturity to read and should not be readily available to children who are not ready to make mature, informed decisions about what they read. In a local middle school there was a book on display – a popular one it seems as it was well worn. It dealt with suicide, which I’m not against addressing, but there was a lot of language that sounded like it came from the mouth of the proverbial sailor. The story could have been handled in a much different way, not catering to the hormones of preteens and stooping to gutter talk, but in a way that would reach the heart and mind of an adolescent.
I saw a list of books a while back that have been banned at some time or another and discovered I have read six of them. All but one (the one I didn’t finish so not sure about it) I think could be read by a teen and understood. There are insights into the human spirit in each of them.
The ones on the list that I have read are: Bridge to Terabithia, Lord of the Flies, A Wrinkle in Time, The Diary of Anne Frank, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Grapes of Wrath (actually listened to this one from a CD), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Invisible Man (not sure if I finished it – I was dying of boredom), Where the Wild Things Are.
I have two more on my bookshelf but I haven’t read them yet – Persepolis and Fahrenheit 451 (yes, I know, I should have read it already).
Here’s the link to the list – see if you have read any of them!