Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's A Free Country!

As a kid in the 60's, when I would have an opinion on something that someone didn't like, I would hear this.. "Hey, it's a free country, you can say what you like.  I might not AGREE with it, but you are free to say it!"  I wonder what happened to that expression?  This also applies to books...

Lesley at http://www.lesley' has a list of banned books in America. (Check it out!)
Some of these are some of my favorite books of all time! When I first read Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as a child I remember being blown away by the writing of one of the chapters that I went back and re-read it, thinking..."How can anyone write so incredibly WELL?" It was the chapter titled, "You Can't Pray A Lie".  That is the first book I ever read that made me realize the power of words. I know kids now can't get over certain  words used in the book and I believe I have read that they have now changed the most offensive word. But still, there is so much truth in that book...maybe that is why so many of these books are banned or "challenged". One of the books on this list, The Catcher In The Rye, is one that I didn't care for at all that many people like... I just told my son that this book is on the list and I said it shouldn't be banned, it should be burned! His reply was that no, no books should be burned, it is just a book that SHOULD NEVER BE READ AGAIN! (So happy he agrees with his Mom on this one.) Of course, neither one of us thinks that censorship of books is a good idea.

My son has grown up with the Harry Potter books so it is hard for me to be objective about them.  Would I like them as much if my son wasn't the exact same age as Harry Potter and his friends? In other words, the people around you can influence how you feel about something.  (If my son can make me enjoy the movie "Avatar", anything is possible!)

Today is a beautiful day.  I must not miss one more minute of it.  Going outside now...will leave this with a song from the Moody Blues.  And hey, it's a free country! A free world...enjoy it!


  1. Comming from Germany, a country where not that many decades ago, books were burnt, artwork was banned and people were murdered by the millions simply because they did not fit the "great scheme" of things, I am extremely cautious when it comes to censorship in any form. Some is, I agree, necessary IN A CONTEXT - for instance, a parent will for good reason censor what their child reads, watches on the telly and accesses on the internet. But a state-imposed censorhip directed against books that express a different religious, moral or political outlook - no, a fervent NO!

  2. Librarian,
    I agree with you completely. It amazes me every year when someone wants to ban a book...I said that about Catcher In the Rye in jest, but there really are people who are able to get books taken off library shelves so as to "protect" the children. Lesley's post was due to Sept.24- Oct.1 being "Banned Books Week" which highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or ATTEMPTED bannings of books across the U.S. "Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it".
    Look at this
    and if that doesn't take you there, you should find it in a search engine...
    You can also get there from Lesley's

    I appreciate your comment so much... every single person who has ever tried to ban a book should read what you just wrote!!!

  3. Oops, left out the apostrophe.
    It is www.lesley'

  4. Here in San Francisco we have a whole week to celebrate books that have been "challenged", banned, etc., with events where folks read from those books in public places. It's awesome.

  5. Thank you for your comment! Did I also read that other cities do this also? What a great idea! Thank goodness for all those who fight for books.
    Just looked at your blog. Your little girl is precious! Cherish every moment, time goes by so quickly!