Censorship is a dirty word in this country, even to those who practice it – which, if you think about it, is just about everyone who is a parent.
While Harry Potter is not banned at our house, I have told our 6-year-old that she will have to wait until she is a little older before reading The Goblet of Fire and the three books that follow (never mind the movies, which we see after reading the books). And some books (Barbie’s Cinderella, let’s say, or Disney’s Winnie the Pooh) do not live on our bookshelves – though Yo Gabba Gabba is welcome. Does this make me a hypocrite? Perhaps. Though I am adamantly opposed to censorship on principle, I struggle with how far to stretch that freedom for my own children. I want them to read everything... that is not too commercial... and when they are ready, of course.
This week at our house we are celebrating Banned Books Week. The American Library Association and others have annually dedicated the last week of September to “celebrate the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.” And though I joke about some of the hypocrisies inherent in parenting, the reasons for this week are no joke.