Book Banning

6 Jul

My boys love to read. They both will devour most any book they find. E~ has finished Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, is working through the Warriors Series, & loves anything written about WWII. G~ has read the first 3 HP’s (I made him take a break till 3rd grade when he might be able to handle the darker nature of #4), most of Beverly Cleary’s stuff, & whatever else he can get his hands on that is challenging enough but also age appropriate. It’s a hard balance. This summer they have both started reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

I’ve read a few of the books, I’ve watched the first movie & now the books have no place on our summer reading lists.

The books are filled with casual meanness. The main character, Greg, has no redeeming qualities & this article could have been written after an encounter with Greg & his family.

Greg lies, cheats, steals, blames others, is a terrible friend, & never seems to ‘get’ it. Older kids can see the lessons Greg is supposed to learn but never does; younger readers will completely miss the point.

As with most kids, Greg is the center of his universe. Only no one in his life has thought enough of him to teach him that he is not. Also missing are lessons on right & wrong. Greg sometimes acknowledges that what he’s doing is wrong, but is always able to justify it because of how it might benefit him in the end. Nothing is ever Greg’s fault.

The casual meanness is what put me over the edge. Nit-picking, off-hand remarks, biting comments, name calling, & a general attitude of disrespect have become huge issues in our house, long before they were reading DoaWK. These books & movies reinforce that behavior & neither have a place at my house.

I want my kids to read things that challenge them. I want them to explore worlds & places we don’t have access too. I want them to have to try to understand things that are foreign to them. That’s what good books do. These are not good books.

I know banning something tends to make it more attractive but it was time to put on my parenting pants & do my job. We talked about the books & the situations in the books & E~ & G~ were mostly okay with my decision. Except that they were both in the middle of a book so our agreement was I would finish it & tell them what happened. I call that taking one for the team.

Have either of my two remaining readers ever banned a book? What was it & why?

K~

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3 Responses to “Book Banning”

  1. WEndy July 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    I haven’t banned them from home b/c jake isn’t interested but Junie B JOnes boopks are bad too that way.

  2. Kristi Leckband July 7, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Junie has been officially dismissed from our home. We talked about her lack of respect for others and how this was not an admirable trait. So far, we haven’t had too many other books that have become questionable. I suspect this will rear its ugly head as time passes.

  3. Teresa Rink July 7, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    Same with me… Junie B Jones is out! AJ’s 1st grade teacher read it to their class so he checked out a book for us to read at bed time. I started it with them and after about 2 chapters said “no more”. Same reasons, rude & disrespectful behavior, not to mention the AWFUL grammer!

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