Friday, September 22, 2006

Banned books -Censorship - Freedom of Speech

Banned books week starts this Saturday (tomorrow!!). Banning books has to do with censoring what people say. In the U.S., the first amendment of the constitution gives everyone the right to “Freedom of Speech,” which pretty much means we can say and believe whatever we want. In some countries, the government decides which books people can read and which books are forbidden. In families, parents can say what’s “off limits,” but I don’t think that’s the same thing as banning books. When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to watch R-rated movies. Lots of my friends’ parents let them watch R-rated movies and I thought it was unfair that I couldn’t. My mother had final say in my house, and I respected her (OK, I snuck into an R movie ONE time). But if someone, like the government or another group of adults, told me I couldn’t watch certain movies or read certain books I would think they were crazy! When I was a kid I read everything I could find, from magazines to books as thick as a dictionary. It turns out that lots of my favorite books were banned in certain places—Huckleberry Finn, Harry Potter, and tons of Judy Blume’s books (because of her open discussions about girls bodies and sexuality). I feel bad that everyone didn’t at least have the CHANCE to read these books because I learned a lot about the world and about myself from reading them.

Next week, we’ll be talking more about banned books and freedom of speech on our blog. Banned books week is a celebration of freedom of speech and you can participate in lots of ways. Post to our blog. Talk to your parents about their views of censorship. Read a banned book! What do you think? Is it OK to ban books? Have you ever read a banned book? Send your thoughts and opinions to


Anonymous said...

i think that books should be banned if the content isint approprate.

Hope said...

I love Judy Blume books and she does write many things about girls' bodies and sexuality, but where would we be without those things? It's helpful to know that you aren't the only one with those feelings and thoughts. I read her books because they are funny, sometimes intense, sometimes sad, but they are also comforting because you find out that you aren't alone. There's nothing worse than being alone with your thoughts as some of us tend to over-think. Like me. Sometimes there's nothing better than being left alone with your thoughts, but there's always that risk of overthinking... I know that they originally banned the diary of Anne Frank (for some of the same things as the Judy Blume books) but can you name some other books that have been banned in the U.S.? I want to read one. By the way, I'm working on reading the unabridged version of the Anne Frank diary so, does that count as reading a banned book? As far as movies go, I think that for those of you not allowed to watch R and PG-13 movies, you aren't missing much and they'll probably still be around when you are old enough to watch them. Well, those are my thoughts, thank you for writing about this issue.