When I was in high school, the most widely read book was not found in the library. It was a tattered paperback that passed from hand to hand under desks, and was often read furtively while the teacher was trying to get across some finer points of algebra.
Call Me Brick by Munroe Howard was a crappy book, a Candy-wannabe only without Terry Southern’s nasty edge and sly wit, but we must have read that one single paperback to shreds before the semester was finished. I think every single student read it at least once (and Reader Zero was a girl who brought it in to share with her friends, and one of them loaned it to her boyfriend on the football team and he shared it with us and so on and so on and so on…)
I bring it up because this is Banned Books Week, in which the censors yet again fail to learn that the surest way of getting a kid to do anything is to say it’s bad for ‘em.
Look, I appreciate parents wanting to make sure their kids aren’t exposed to material they think would be harmful to them (I’ve got my copy of The Anarchist Cookbook well hidden from prying young eyes).
But that applies only to your kids and only in your home; in a public setting such as a library or a school, it’s not your place, it’s not my place, and it’s certainly not some uptight jackanape’s place to decide what is / is not right / wrong for other people’s kids or young adults when they reach their teen years.
Show some support for the First Amendment by going to your local public library branch and reading something that would get some bluenose’s knickers in a twist.
Tell ‘em Judy Blume and Steve King sent you…
And if you’re wondering how a Christian can support “bad” books, it’s because I know once you get rid of the “bad” books the next one to go will be the “good” book.