The local librarian was good enough to give my Mom the heads up about Judy Blume. They both agreed that if my little sister didn’t notice anything, it means it went right over her head, and if she noticed anything, it was because she was ready to ask about it.
That’s kind of nice, but this concerns parents who worry that their kids may read about topics they are not ready for.
Yet more dangerous – especially to their children – are those who are afraid that their kids may read about topics they are ready for.
What’s this? Sanity on the Internet?
I had to write a letter to the school librarian when my daughter was twelve or so, letting them know she could check out any library book she wanted to. I have no idea who the censors are trying to protect or what they are trying to protect them from.
In your case, the library may have just been trying to protect themselves from the administration or other parents.
When I was a kid (12 or so), I was stopped from checking out a copy of Dune, as it was in the ‘adult’ section. Apparently, they did, in fact, judge books by their covers, as I picked one from the ‘kids’ SF section that, whilst it had an awful cover penned in felt-tip by the looks of it (HEL-LO US import!), was just slightly milder than Kathy Acker. Yeesh.
Oh Judy… this is never about what may make the kids uncomfortable… it is about what makes the PARENTS uncomfortable. And they are very bad at handling those things.
Now granted, my son has only just turned 8, so the content issue is not yet too much of a concern, but my attitude is reading is reading.
If he asks for a(nother) book about sea creatures, fantastic. If he asks for a book about ninja pirates kidnapping zombie goldfish, that’s fine too. The next installation of Wimpy Kid? You betcha! Am I crazy about the branding that encourage (and sometimes leads to) ancillary toy purchases? Not really.
But the point is, he’s reading! Actual, honest to goodness, mind expanding, old school, tree-based literature instead of digital junk! I’m going to do as little as possible to get in the way of that!
Yes! Judy Blume is a national treasure!
Also, this seems appropriate… Amanda Palmer’s song about the role Judy Blume played in her life. Sorry it’s a crappy cellphone video. The song is on the album she did with Gaiman:
+1 for my kids’ schools then: none of them ever asked for that. In fact, we were told at the various parents’ nights that the kids had the right to take out any books they wanted to.
One of my kids took a very long time to get into reading. But then she found graphic novels, and those propelled her into the reading universe. I cannot comprehend graphic novels. I don’t know how to read them. Seriously, it’s like I’m looking at hieroglyphics or something. But that’s what got her excited about reading, so who cares if I’m a fan, right?
As someone who is dyslexic and found ebook readers a massive improvement over dead tree (I read at least one book every two weeks instead of less than one a month now) I will disagree with your view on digital. Video games also help stop me from burning out, so by playing them I can keep this amount of reading going long term.
I won’t disagree too strongly though, because reading is good.
I remember turning 12 & then reading Fanny Hill. But I got it from my parents’ bookshelf , not from a library.
Even at 12 I was wise enough not to put it down and ask, “mommy, what’s a godemiche?”
Somehow xkcd comic seems appropriate.
How so? I’m kind of confused how that fits… other than both being about childrens/YA lit.
@chgoliz I buy my nephew graphic novels, including the more advanced ones (he’s 12, so more than ready for those), because he EATS THEM UP. I’m a great aunt.
I really hate this either/or mentality. There is room for both digital and ‘dead-tree’ books in this world.
But, when you get right down to it, there’s room for so many more of the digital ones.
Technically, yes, you are correct. I moved across the country and had to get rid of most of my books, some of which I had bought within the last year, and I was very sad, but it just wasn’t economical to send them. I only had enough in my budget for one box of media mail. Sniff.