Yes, it's Banned Books Week, and I promote it as a parent.
That's right. As a parent, not as a writer.
So many of the books that misguided parents and teachers try to prevent kids from reading are actually wonderful teaching tools. Why? Because they can help both kids and adults broach painful, difficult subjects.
First off, adults foolishly believe that if kids don't have access to these books, then they won't perform the actions depicted within. Unfortunately, our children are already facing these situations whether we like it or not. (Even those who are homeschooled. Don't kid yourselves. I'm a homeschool mom, too.) By talking with our children (not talking TO them), we can give them the skills to protect themselves.
Second, adults don't like depictions of people they don't approve of, and they think if they don't acknowledge these people, their children will never encounter them. I hate to tell these folks, but such encounters are hard to avoid in the modern world. All that happens is they infect their kids with their fear. Then they're shocked when it's their own son or daughter in trouble for bullying another kid because he or she is different.
Looking over this year's list, the only books I've personally read are Persepolis and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I highly recommend them for kids twelve and older.
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