Oy. Seriously people, this sort of thing hacks me off. In the first place, why do people who want to ban books always have absolutely NO true information about them? I remember once someone telling me that Harry Potter had voodoo in it, which of course just goes to show the ignorance of book banning in the first place. Unless Rowling throws it into book 7, I haven’t seen any voodoo yet. Of course, I’ve actually read the books, so silly me.
According to the American Library Association, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books have been challenged 115 times since 2000, making them the most challenged texts of the 21st Century.
There are several, quite obvious things here. In the first place, the books are about loyalty, courage, honor, love and conviction to your beliefs. These are precisely the values children need most. I’ve heard claims that it encourages children to question authority. And um, hello, these children are fighting to save humankind and wizard kind alike with the help of adults. It’s not that they’re questioning all authority, but you know what? Sometimes authority is wrong. Hitler ring a bell? Sometimes, authority is bad and there’s nothing wrong with your child understanding that.
HOWEVER, if you don’t want your children reading fantasy novels because they contain elements you consider bad (although it might be nice if you read the darned things first to see what they were really about), don’t let em. That doesn’t mean though, that you need to become my childrens’ moral compass on such matters. Or anyone else’s for that matter. Why does it have to move from a personal decision for your family to an attempt to decide for mine? It’s so unbearably self righteous.
I fully support parents controlling what their children read and see. It’s a parent’s job to do that. But it’s not Laura Mallory’s job to do it for me and I resent her attempts and the people like her (on both sides of the political spectrum) who seem to believe it’s their job to decide what everyone else thinks, hears, says and reads.
So thumbs up to Georgia Board of Education members for voting to keep the books on the shelves.