professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Speak Loudly (and carry a LONG list)

I love reading the listserv emails. There is always something to make me think (even before I have my morning coffee). So, you can imagine how a discussion of this list ( proceeded. Titled BOOKS PARENTS SHOULDN'T LET CHILDREN READ XII (#12!!!), this is a list compiled to keep readers away from THOSE books. You know the ones: the ones that deal with S-E-X and other taboo topics for teens. More about some of the titles in a moment. In the sidebar description to this list is a diatribe about the lists being censored by others and the assertion that since these books are available, they are not being censored.

"They can be purchased in any bookstore or the Internet. While pushing borderline pornography to minor children—the ones they should be protecting!—and accusing parents of “censorship,” the ALA and these librarians don’t say a word against countries that really censor literature."

Now, I am all in favor of parents guiding the reading materials of their children. That is not only a right but a responsibility. However, when you post lists telling other parents what their kids should not (and even SHOULD give the previous discussion of lexiles and levels) read, then you are indeed crossing the line. If you do not want your kids to read STORY OF A GIRL (one on this list), a National Book Award finalist by Sara Zarr, that is fine. But it is not within your job description to put it on a list of books children should not be permitted to read (and BTW, this is YA and not for children).

But do some more exploration of this person's lists. You will encounter this one:,_minors)_6. Here are the books deemed worthy of reading for children. Titles include: Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science, and Amy Barickman's Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion, and Fun. For the latter title, there is a comment that follows:

"I love this beautiful book. So nice to see how feminine and caring women were in the past--and unashamed of being women. A must read for young women, who have been led so far away from femininity in this country. (NOTICE: Attempts to censor (“Report this”) my comments will be fiercely fought under the aegis of American Libraries’ beloved principles: Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Read, Intellectual Freedom.) * * * * * "

Can anyone say agenda? Chilling.
Tags: censorship, challenges, restricting

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