Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Tough Subjects for Young Readers By Ann Haywood Leal

I have never been of the book banning school of thought.  In fact, I may be generalizing, but I highly suspect that a great number of the most fervent book banners out there, haven't read the to-be-banned book in its entirety.  Taking something out of context and constructing your own story around it can be very risky, indeed.

My parents never put a limit on what I was reading.  I was fortunate in that they let me choose my own books and to form my own opinions about them, even from an early age.  I believe that there are certain subjects that kids need their books to address--and many are what we might consider "edgy" or just plain tough subjects like racism, poverty, abuse, and homelessness.  For the readers who are experiencing any of these in real life, they may see themselves in the fictional character.  It can help them sort through their problem, and possibly to gain some courage to deal with it--if the character in the book can get through it, then maybe they can get through it, too.

Other readers can develop empathy for others who are experiencing these things, hopefully increasing tolerance and social awareness toward those who are in different situations--those they consider different from them.

Novels and picture books that include tough subjects can all be done with gentleness and hope, which is what we want for all of our young readers, don't we?

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree--I also suspect most banners haven't read the entirety of the books they challenge.