The last week in September is Banned Books Week, which does NOT mean that the American Library Association and a bunch of other illustrious organizations are jumping up and down, trying to get books banned.
It does mean we’re all jumping and down for the freedom to read what we choose to read.
Now, I’ll be the first to say that there are books out there that little bitty kids probably shouldn’t read. And maybe some books that grown-up kids wished they’d never read. But deciding what to read (or not read) should be an individual’s choice (or a choice discussed with a parent in the case of younger students). Because, frankly, there are some folks out there who have a very strange idea of what’s improper reading material. Just take a look at this map of banned books to see what I mean.
I’ve read most of the books that have been banned somewhere, sometime. Honestly, my mother let me read all kinds of books when I was a kid. And I survived with my morals, values, and political views (such as they are) intact.
It’s all about Freadom, whether you’re a writer, a reader or both. No question about it.