Banned Books Week? Bah, Humbug!

Readability

Banned Books Week? Bah, Humbug!

It’s “Banned Books Week.” Par­don my groan. I rant about this every year. No end in sight, alas.

The folks behind Banned Books Week — a coali­tion of the Amer­i­can Library Asso­ci­a­tion and allied groups — lost all cred­i­bil­ity with me years ago when they con­flated “banned” and “chal­lenged,” espe­cially when the chal­lenge is to the use of a book in a cur­ricu­lum. Get a clue: the chal­lengers aren’t “ban­ning” a book any more than the peo­ple who chose the book for the cur­ricu­lum in the first place were “ban­ning” alternatives.

In this coun­try, you know what to do when a book is “chal­lenged” and removed in school, and you think that’s a bad idea? READ IT YOUR­SELF. Read it to your kids. Write a review. Milk social media for all it’s worth. Give away copies on the steps of your local school.

Quit com­plain­ing that other peo­ple are mak­ing choices for you. Make your own choices.

Yes, kids have a right to read. They also have a right to know that ques­tion­ing author­ity — specif­i­cally the author­ity to choose cur­ricu­lum resources — does not amount to “censorship.”

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-​life activist liv­ing in New Hamp­shire. Read more from her at ellenkolb​.com/blog and leav​en​forth​e​loaf​.com.

You can sup­port inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ism by hit­ting a writer’s tip jar — prefer­ably DaTechGuy’s or Ellen’s!

It’s “Banned Books Week.” Pardon my groan. I rant about this every year. No end in sight, alas.

The folks behind Banned Books Week – a coalition of the American Library Association and allied groups – lost all credibility with me years ago when they conflated “banned” and “challenged,” especially when the challenge is to the use of a book in a curriculum. Get a clue: the challengers aren’t “banning” a book any more than the people who chose the book for the curriculum in the first place were “banning” alternatives.

In this country, you know what to do when a book is “challenged” and removed in school, and you think that’s a bad idea? READ IT YOURSELF. Read it to your kids. Write a review. Milk social media for all it’s worth. Give away copies on the steps of your local school. 

Quit complaining that other people are making choices for you. Make your own choices.

Yes, kids have a right to read. They also have a right to know that questioning authority – specifically the authority to choose curriculum resources – does not amount to “censorship.”

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist living in New Hampshire. Read more from her at ellenkolb.com/blog and leavenfortheloaf.com.

You can support independent journalism by hitting a writer’s tip jar – preferably DaTechGuy’s or Ellen’s