Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Banned Books Week!
Technically it started yesterday, but we were already in a tizzy about Josh Hutcherson’s hair and hey, we have a WHOLE WEEK to talk about banned books.
Some of our favorite books in the whole wide world are heavily contested and banned. Why? Because they’re real. They talk about some gut-wrenching, emotional, and controversial topics, but each of these topics is something that’s happening in someone’s life right now. Yes, even in the lives of young adults.
The best part is that the self-righteous yuppies advocating to get most literature banned haven’t even bothered reading the entire book they’ve spoken out against. They hear that the books are bad from somebody else and jump right on the bandwagon. Remember Laura Mallory, the woman who has spent years and years advocating against Harry Potter even though she never read more than a few chapters because she thought they contained too much evil? A video by a radical Christian organization told her to hate the series, so she did. COOL KID RIGHT THERE.
It’s perfectly fine to read an entire book and decide that it’s not appropriate for YOUR child, but we don’t get who the hell these people think they are to decide what every child in their county, state, or nation can read. Every child is different and they earn nothing from being coddled and sheltered from the knowledge of the more vicious things in life. Obviously, we don’t want their experiences to be firsthand, but acknowledging the existence of social issues is a major part of growing up.
ANYWAY.. Among the banned books most contested in the past year? The Hunger Games series, naturally! The reasons why are a bit ridiculous, so we’re taking them head-on for your viewing pleasure!
Sexually Explicit – WHEN?! Porn is sexually explicit. Most HBO series are sexually explicit. The Hunger Games is NOT. It has two separate instances in which two characters are naked: One in which Katniss is getting fixed up by her prep team and the other when Johanna strips out of her tree outfit in Catching Fire. There are no detailed descriptions of the nudity, but don’t ever take a shower kids! You’ll be sexually explicit! Nobody is getting it on or even hinting at getting it on in The Hunger Games. In fact, Katniss’ lack of interest should be a relief to parents who think their children are over-exposed to sex. But nooooo, they’ve got to nitpick in an attempt to make the series look worse than it is!
Unsuited To Age Group – The age group argument always gets to us. Young Adult books are roughly geared to ages 11 to 18. As we all know, a lot of YA readers are older than that. We feel like the average person could have handle most of the content of The Hunger Games at age 11, considering that most children already have a decent knowledge of drugs, sex, alcohol, death and war by that age (mostly in theory, not practice!) Their parents like to pretend they don’t but THEY DO. And you know what? They want to discover more about this newfound, strange information. Frankly, The Hunger Games is rainbows and kittens compared to the other ways they could explore grown up issues!
Violence – Your children are watching slasher movies. They’re playing video games in which they murder everything in sight. They’re witnessing bullying all around. And you’re afraid of a book that uses the murder of children as a means of teaching anti-violence? The books show how horrible society’s penchant toward violence can be and explain why it should never be used, especially amongst children. Pretending violence never happens has never once stopped violence from occurring, nor will seeing violence portrayed as a treacherous flaw in society turn anyone into a serial killer. In fact, if your child becomes a serial killer, that’s probably on you!
So what’s the lesson here? Most books are banned for downright silly reasons by people who are afraid of the real world. Read a banned book! It’s good for the soul!
Let’s ban lousy books instead of controversial ones!
The Girl With The Pearl