Book banning has gone on for as long as books have been written. Librarians report hundreds of challenges every year.
A school board member, a parent, or some other member of the community
attempts to have books they find objectionable removed from the library,
or separated from the other books, so that people don't have free
access to them.
There are many reasons for banning given.
Often included are violence, profanity, sexual content, homosexuality, sex education, witchcraft, occult, "new age", and racist or sexist language.
Generally, people tend to want to suppress what disagrees with their own beliefs.
The book, or books, may not be banned if enough people protest the challenge. If there's enough fuss that it makes the news, whatever is being complained about often becomes even more popular. I've seen that happen more than once!
However, there are other times when no one notices, and the book is banned and lost to all of us. Who knows how many times this happens?
If everyone banned all writing they objected to, we wouldn't have much - if anything - left to read.
Are there things out there that I find objectionable? Harmful? Yes, and yes. Am I going to try to have them banned? No.
Why? I want the freedom to choose for myself. And if I don't want that freedom taken from me, how can I justify taking it from others?
Fortunately, only a few of the requests to ban a book actually gets it removed from the library.
I'm sure that the censoring/banning/burning of books will continue, but there's another side to this story. A much brighter one. There are also those who will continue to write them.
I was reminded of that not long ago when I received a large envelope in the mail. In it were stories written by my two young cousins.
Madisen and Hayden were at Grandma Sharon's house, where Madisen saw this website. (Thanks, Sharon!) Madisen is in 5th grade and loves to write, so she promptly wrote a story for me, "The Wealthy Princess". The princess in this story longs to go to school.
Not to be outdone by his sister, Hayden (3rd grade) wrote a story of his own, "The Wise Wizard". His surely would be on a banned list somewhere right away, just because of the title! (Think Harry Potter. )
Though the book banning will continue, I have to smile every time I think about my two young relatives who already know the importance of education---and stories.
So, thanks to Madisen and Hayden, and others like them, the books will keep on coming!
That's something to celebrate.
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