Quantcast
The Compulsive Reader: Down With Book Banning

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Down With Book Banning

I don't know how many of you are aware of this, but right now two Florida moms are challenging a Gossip Girl book and Maureen Johnson's The Bermudez Triangle (this is not the first time MJ's book has been challenged either), requesting that they be removed from the Young Adult section. The following video is done by Maureen Johnson, and it is funny, but also very serious too. Check it out:




Now, I loved The Bermudez Triangle. It's not so much a book about homosexuality as it is one about friendship and relationships and how they can change. It's quite clean, despite the many nasty accusations tossed around.

Gossip Girl is a different story...I read the first three books or so before I dropped them. Personally, I didn't really enjoy them. But that's just me. While I wouldn't reccomend them to anyone, I certainly would not go on witch hunt to get those books removed. Obviously someone likes them because they're bestsellers, and someone made a TV show out of them, so I don't feel bad not liking them, but here's the bottom line: everyone can have opinions. Everyone SHOULD have opinions. But when you start telling others what they should and should not read--that's wrong. If parents are so worried about the state of the books that their kids are reading, they should read them themselves--my own mother did that with the first Harry Potter book (and then I started reading the rest of the series faster than her, but that's besides the point). Don't expect libraries to do your job, parents.

And now I'm going to get off my soapbox here. What do you all think?

17 comments:

Erica said...

I think it's pretty hilarious that people are wasting their time trying to get books banned. If you don't like them, don't read them or allow your kids to read them. So many people in this world waste so much time doing pointless things.

Mariah said...

I think that libraries should not be responsible for what kids read. If a parent does not want certain types of books to be read by their children then it is their responsibility to keep their kids away from those books. The Public Libraries should not have to change their book decisions just because one or two parents disagree with their choices.

Diana Dang said...

I agree with Erica and Mariah. And I s have read Gossip Girl, only the first volume, and dropped it once I was done. It was not my cup of tea but hey, that's just me.

Sara said...

I think that those parents are very close-minded. I means, I guess it depends on how old the kids involved are, but in general, what could be so scandalous in those books that the average kid isn't already exposed to. I know that Bermudez Triange deals with homosexuality, etc - isn't that something that kids today should be aware of and have an understanding of? When they grow up and join the adult world they are going to some in contact with ideas and people that differ from themselves. They will be better equipped to handle those situations if they are exposed before that point to diversity and have a chance to grow accustomed to these differences. Plus, if they are public school kids, I'm sured they've been exposed to much worse things - things that actually are bad. Did that make sense?

a flight of minds said...

I think I started reading Gossip Girl way back in when in Gr. 7, meaning I was probably 12. It's not like it inspired me to have sex constantly. Honestly, I don't remember much that was in it. I really don't understand why some people use their time to try to ban books, or just to move them, or whatever these mothers and others are trying to do. The Bermudez Triangle isn't even all that bad it my opinion- yeah, it deals with homosexuality. Oh my! How can teens read about this? Uhh no. I think it's good to be informed. I say, read what you can and learn. I don't think teens are quite so influental that if they read books about sex, they'll go out to do it immediately. Or at least I'm not, and neither are a lot of my friends who have read books such as Gossip Girl and the like. Gossip Girl and Berdudez Triangle are meant for teens to understand things such as sex and homosexuality, so why take the books away from them?

- Alex

Simply_Megan said...

I hate it when I see people trying to ban books or "move them" to different sections. Like many other commenters have already stated, if you don't like something, don't let your kid read it. But don't tell other people what they can and can't read. Who are you to tell people what they can do?

Kate said...

I can't believe this. First of all, thanks for this informative post. Secondly, what are these people thinking? They are mothers! Not teen readers who the books are aimed at, but older mothers. Not everyone has the same taste and I doubt every mother would have the same taste as their teenage daughter in books. If they didn't want their daughters reading the books, then tell them why, although I think their reasons are unfounded. Don't try and get them moved in a library. You'll jusst have teens in the adult section where they will be able to find mature content. Mothers can't mollycoddle their children until their 18th birthday and then magically say they can read these books. Book choices are your own personal prefernce. Iread Anne Frank's Diary when I was 9 because I could handle the mature content. Speaking as a teenager, I have heard worse things than those extracts said by teenagers at school, spoken by people on the TV and in lyrics in music.

The Book Resort said...

I am not thrilled w/ censorship of ANY kind. The first thing that came to mind was "Florida figures". I am NOT downing Florida as a whole ~ my aunt lives in Boca, but... shouldn't they use all their narrow minded energy to get the sex offenders off the darn streets.

The mom's should worry about what goes on under their own roof than to get there bloomers in a twist.

Florida... it sometimes is like its own little planet...

I pray the common sense fairy knocks some sense into them.

The Book Resort said...

P.S. I love the GG series, but that's me. Do I love all the books? Different than the series & that's ok.

Libraries are a place for knowledge & knowledge is power, so hopefully this will burn like everything I cook... fast! lol.

The more fuel they add the more people will gravitate to the forbidden. Here's to many more sales for Maureen & the Gossip Girl series.

I wish these people would actually read a book that would stimulate their brain cells instead of a a cookbook or ladies journal circa 1946.

It amazes me we've come so far, but still remain in the muck & mire. Grrr....

May-Bedell Gurl said...

I think that people can be pretty closed minded. They are so worried about these books that are basicly about everyday life when they don't even read the books for themselves. Read the books and then decide what to do. It is like when Laura Mallory was trying to remove the Harry Potter books from her kid's school - she hadn't even read them. If you are going to "ban" books then you should read them first. I also don't think that any of the books today are as bad as the original Brothers Grimm stories. Some of those are pretty gruesome and shouldn't be recommended for younger age groups. I know from my own experiece that if you try to ban a book from a child, they will just want to read it all the more and will find a way to do so.

Insert Book Title said...

I think that parents have every right to censor what THEIR kids read, but to take the opportunity from other children is wrong. A few parents should not be allowed to ruin it for everyone else.

Bookgeek said...

It's so sad that these parents don't see the difference between private and public. If they want to limit their kids' choices, that's one thing, but wanting that decision to apply to everyone is outrageous. Librarians - and booksellers - think very carefully about where to place their books and should not be second guessed by the public, especially those who have not taken the time to read the books they are criticizing. How depressing if we let a vocal minority choose content or placement in a library.

piraterita said...

I agree with basically what all you guys have said so far- it's not aimed at parents, nor is it aimed at children (Gossip Girl for people mature enough to handle it, I'd say 14-19). I don't understand why parents need to stop their kids from reading it. I don't have a problem with Gossip Girl, but it's almost as if these parents have no idea what censorship is. Isn't not letting someone say/read/view something censorship?

Rhiannon Hart said...

Yes! What a good way to put it: "don't let libraries do your job, parents."

Laina said...

Oh, but they don't want to "ban books" they just want to "remove them". Can you hear the sarcasm in my voice???

Reader Rabbit said...

I don't like the Gossip Girl books (but I do love the TV show...ALL THAT EYECANDY<3) but really, the books are aimed for a 13+ age group and I think people that age should be mature enough to handle the material.

And seriously, why are libraries censoring the stuff. Parents who care THAT much about it can stop their kids from reading it.

SarahChristine said...

i seriously think the whole book banning thing is getting out of hand.i mean come on why should someone who is not even related to us decide what is right for us to read.and if parents dont want their kids to read the book they could always just say they cant read it and tell them why they dont want them to read.

its just plain stupid,im glad my parent never cared what i read since they trusted my judgment.