Professor of Journalism and Pediatrics at New York University, Perri Klass, writes a column called “The Checkup” for The New York Times. Usually she writes about medical things like coughs and measles and kids who are night owls. But this week she wrote about “The Banned Books Your Child Should Read“!
While there are parents out there trying to save children from books with accurate descriptions of body parts, books with kids who behave like kids, or stories about LGBTQ families or magical places like Hogwarts, Klass points out,
“In fact, banned books lists [e.g. the ALA list of frequently challenged children’s books the and University of Illinois list] can be a great resource for parents looking for books that teach kids about the world and themselves.
“When your children read books that have been challenged or banned, you have a double opportunity as a parent; you can discuss the books themselves, and the information they provide, and you can also talk about why people might find them troubling…
“As a parent, I was dazzled when my daughter’s summer reading assignment was to choose a book ‘out of your comfort zone,’ however the student chose to define it. Because, that is, of course, what literature does, and part of the glorious freedom and human right of literacy is the opportunity to journey with words well beyond your comfort zone.”