October 1st, 2010 by Karen
Alright, guys. I’m gonna be straight with you. It’s been a while since I was your age. Because, as I’ve established many times before, I am OLD. But even so, I definitely remember one of the most frustrating things about being a kid: not having control over lots of stuff in my own life.
I know now that my parents were (mostly) just trying to look out for me — but imagine if your parents wanted to make rules not just for your family, but also for all the other kids in your school, or even in your town. Wouldn’t that be a little crazy? Well, that’s basically what happens when people try to have books removed from libraries and schools. And that’s what Banned Books Week is all about.
Think about it: In the end, I wouldn’t argue with a parent who read a book that I recommended on Kidsmomo and then said, “No way. My kid is not allowed to read that.” But it’s not cool to stop everyone else’s kids from reading that book. That’s a decision every kid and their parents should be allowed to make for themselves.
So this week, readers everywhere unite to take a stand against book banning. Those of us who believe in the freedom to read and the importance of access to books come together during Banned Book Week to host and attend events, write articles, and post to blogs (like I’m doing right now!). But to be honest, at first I wasn’t going to write about Banned Books Week on Kidsmomo. Because, like I said, kids don’t really get final say on most decisions. I guess I felt like there was no point in getting you guys all hyped up on Banned Books Week because you couldn’t do anything to join the cause. But I am SO SORRY, because I was totally wrong.
When I thought about it a little more, I realized that of course you’re never too young to fight the good fight. And you’re never powerless as long as you speak up. That’s the whole point of Banned Books Week. It’s a week for all of us to talk talk talk about how wrong it is to take away other people’s right to choose what they want to read. Because the more we talk about that, the louder our voices get and the more the world will hear us — and hopefully that will mean a future with fewer banned books, maybe even zero banned books someday!
So if you feel the same way, please add your voice! I don’t mean you have to do anything this week. I just mean that in the future, if you hear of a book being challenged and you don’t agree, speak up. Tell your parent or your teacher or your friends why you don’t think it’s right. Get people talking about it. Write a letter to whoever makes the final decision. Every voice counts.
Speaking of which, if you do want to be part of Banned Book Week right now, leave a comment with your thoughts on the issue. I’ll share what you say with other folks who are also honoring Banned Books Week online!