Celebrating Banned Books Week in Texas

Filed under: Media, Day Care & Education, Teens, Gadgets, That's Entertainment

Oh, the irony! Alton Verm of Conroe, Texas wants his daughter's high school to ban a book. "It's just all kinds of filth," he said. He did admit that he had not actually read the book. The book in question? Ray Bradbury's 1953 Science Fiction classic, Fahrenheit 451. Why is that so ironic that it actually hurts? Because Fahrenheit 451 is a cautionary tale depicting a society in which books are banned and critical thought is suppressed.

The title of the book refers to "the temperature at which book-paper catches fire, and burns ..."; the protagonist is a fireman -- someone whose job is to burn books. As I recall, (I read it a long time ago,) it was a dark book with an obvious -- to me -- message. I tend to prefer lighter stuff when I read for pleasure, so I'm certain I never read it more than once or twice. It does, however, provide an important lesson for younger folks who may not understand why banning ideas (and the books that contain them) is a Really Bad Idea. You may not like someone else's idea, but that isn't a good enough reason to ban it; it might be your ideas that are out of favor next week.

I have to admit, I am flabbergasted by this. If the parent doesn't want their kid to read the book, that's fine; it's their choice. The thing is, they shouldn't try to force that on others -- which is, of course, a big part of the message of the book. And, just in case this story wasn't ridiculous enough as it is, it all started during Banned Books week. I'm sorry... I think I need to go cry now.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.