We Shouldn’t Have the Right to Choose What Other People’s Children Read
Book bans threaten personal freedom.
With book bans increasing in the United States, it’s interesting that many of the top 10 banned books in 2022 include children’s literature. Here’s why parents should individually decide what their children read instead of making that choice for everyone.
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The First Amendment
Intellectual freedom is a first amendment right. The concept of being able to access and interact with the literary materials of your choice is your right. On the other hand, it also enables you to decide against reading a specific piece of literature. Thus, participating in book banning is taking away that freedom from others. It’s your right to restrict your child from engaging with certain library materials. However, it does not allow you to make that decision for others.
The Importance of Diverse Literature
Current statistics show a concerning trend in bans on diverse literature. For example, one of the most frequently cited reasons for book challenges includes LGTBQIA+ content. Diverse literature increases empathy and introduces readers to other perspectives and experiences, particularly for children.
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Commonly Challenged Books Offer Us Something Unique
One book that has consistently made the top 10 challenged books of all time and continues to appear on the list in 2022 is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This year’s cited reasons included violence, profanity, and an anti-police message. Even so, much of this novel’s story reflects real-life experiences while being educational. Young adults should be free to access educationally enriching content.