I have talked to great length about censorship with young adult novels. Yes, it’s sorta going to be one of those posts again. Turns out there is a lot to cover when talking about censorship. Buckle up.
The most recent is the proposal by a few “concerned citizens” to start rating young adult novels. You know, like movies, TV shows and video games are rated now, to great effectiveness. (side note: that was sarcasm. You can tell by tone of my typing.) These ratings help us determine different things, like how harmed the children will be by seeing scenes of smoking, or mild cleavage. (both real things that will people are concerned about, apparently.)
Of course, this was brought on by a concerned citizen who took the time to count the number of swear words (by their definition by the way) that we like to pretend that kids don’t say in several young adult books. Like the recent documentary, “Bully” being rated R for language to help protect the kids from seeing naughty words. No one really batted an eye at the irony of the fact that these were kids saying the naughty words. (I don’t know why I used the word “naughty.” I am a 33 year old man.)
Look, it never really hurts to know the content of what kids are reading. Labeling them based on one groups set of standards is never going to work, because you will be forcing that morality on someone else. If you really want to take a look at the content of what your kids are reading, pick up the book, and read it with them. You may be surprised at the content, yes, but you’ll be even more surprised that you can talk to them about it, and learn something about them.