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Books can help someone escape from reality, learn about the future, and sometimes show how the world could be just as cruel as it is good. For example, Anne Frank’s diary captivated the young writer so much that when she wrote in her diary it was like she was a different person. She went from a happy, loving 13-year-old girl into an intense 40-year-old writer. Author Francine Prose quotes in her book a statement that Miep Giep had once written down about Anne Frank herself: I saw Anne was writing intently and hadn’t heard me. I was quite close to her and was about to turn and go when she looked up, surprised, and saw me standing there. In our encounters over the years, I’d seen Anne, like a chameleon, go from mood to mood, but always with friendliness…But I saw a look on her face at this moment that I’d never seen before. The look pierced me, and I was speechless. She was suddenly another person there writing at that table.

Anne Frank is a book that shows the depth of reality and just how cruel and powerful one person can be. A mother wanted this book edited or banned because Anne Frank discussed her genitalia in one of her entries. Yes, this might be considered explicit for some children to read, but most children in middle school and up already know this information. Should parents have so much power that they dictate what someone can read in school classrooms and public libraries (Flood 2013)?

Most books are banned because of offense to religious views, political views, violence, or something sexual. Some of these same books are used to gain information, whether it be for English, Spanish, or psychology. These are just some of the books used to help kids learn new things and get the knowledge to help them become the young men and women that they are today. Kids thrive off of learning new things, they absorb all of the information as if they were sponges. What happens if an English book has a story with a couple of curse words in it, or a history book gives raw details about the killings during a war? Are parents going to ban children from learning about the past or reading stories that are meant to help them soak up more information because they feel like it is too inappropriate (Flanagan 2019)?

There are many other reasons books are read besides just to learn about the past and/or present, sometimes they are used to escape from a harsh reality. It is easier to read about two people falling in love than listening to screaming coming from the room next door. Reading books that have a theme of what is going on in a person’s life can give comfort because they may think at least they are not alone. Books can show someone that there are other people in the world going through the same things that they are. They can give a person something to relate to, or maybe even be a guide in helping handle a specific situation. There are fiction books but there are also memoirs that can give a reader hope, escape, and the help needed. Using books as an escape also allows readers to view the world differently. A hypothetical situation in a book can be absorbed and then connections from the false reality can be made to their social reality (Flanagan 2019).

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Parents do have the right to decide what their children do or do not read so that they can know what their children are exposed to. This helps the parent from being blindsided if their children read something on their visit to the school library or even their local one. By banning books it saves children from having their innocence stolen from them at such a young age. Having books that include adult topics available in libraries enables parents the ability to choose when their children are mature enough to read this specific material. If books with inappropriate material are available in libraries children or teens can be exposed to books their parents would not approve of or even think of them reading. Choosing not to allow your children to read certain books that expose them to the real world does not mean that you are saving their innocence they’re going to still be surrounded by other students who could still introduced to the things you wish for them not to know.’We believe parents have every right and responsibility to monitor what their children read. But they don’t have the right to prevent other children from reading books, particularly national award-winning books(Rohner).’

By banning books parents can censor what their children can get their hands on, which includes controversial topics such as the LGBT community, or racial issues. When parents ban books they can prevent children from having opposing views from their parents and religion.“One day we have never heard of rainbow parties and then suddenly they are everywhere, feeding on adults’ fears that morally bankrupt sexuality among younger teens is rampant, despite any actual evidence, as well as evidence to the contrary,(Culture).” Parents are banning books because during their time being out and proud is not something that many people take lightly or even like. This topic speaks volumes because instead of trying to understand your child you would instead try to smother any freedom or individuality from them just so they do not go against your views. In this day and age, there are so many topics that your child will be exposed to so why would you avoid a topic that might one day creep up on you instead of just sitting down and talking to them?

“To say that knowledge never hurts is to deny that books have any power to influence people at all (Culture).” Knowledge can hurt you, but it can also allow you to learn so many facts and be able to have a sensible conversation with your child or parent. ​The world is not all rainbows and unicorns and some books show how this statement is the truth. Books are read for many different reasons but there should be a choice on whether they are read or not. It should not matter whether the book has raw details about history or if it is about a little kitten playing with some yarn. Books should not be banned from libraries and school classrooms, because a couple of parents find some curse words and a portion of what kids already learn in a health class on the pages of a book. They are meant to be something to learn from and meant to help a person grow and find themselves. They are written to get lost in, to help escape from the reality of the real world. Books are made to show some of the harsher things in life and give some raw details about how the human mind may think (Flanagan 2019).

Works Cited

    1. Culture. “In Defense of Book Banning.” ​The Federalist​, 20 Mar. 2014, thefederalist.com/2014/03/11/in-defense-of-book-banning/.
    2. Flanagan, Victoria. “Children’s Fantasy Literature: Why Escaping Reality Is Good for Kids.” The Conversation, The Conversation, 8 Feb. 2019, theconversation.com/childrens-fantasy-literature-why-escaping-reality-is-good-for-kids-22307.
    3. Flood, Alison. “Anne Frank’s Diary in US Schools Censorship Battle.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 7 May 2013, www.theguardian.com/books/2013/may/07/anne-frank-diary-us-schools-censorship.
    4. Rohrer, Finlo. “Why Are Parents Banning School Books?” ​BBC News​, BBC, 27 Sept. 2010, www.bbc.com/news/magazine-11417672.

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