Why deny young readers the pleasures of literature?
JOHN FIDLER || READINGEAGLE.COM || OCTOBER 2013
Hard to believe that in 2013 some people are still trying to keep students from reading certain books. Not by writing unflattering reviews or saying nasty things at the water cooler, but by calling for bans of books they find objectionable, even if they haven’t read them.
As a lifelong reader and part-time teacher of literature at Reading Area Community College, I am, as the politicians love to say, shocked and appalled that self-appointed guardians of taste continue to throw politically motivated tantrums over books they might not have read.
The latest target of the intellectually barren and morally misguided is Toni Morrison’s first novel, “The Bluest Eye,” published in 1970. Among the themes the novel explores are beauty and ugliness as 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove, who is raped and impregnated by her father, makes her way in an unforgiving world.
Morrison, 82, has written 10 novels, seven works of nonfiction, three children’s books and two plays. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her novel “Beloved” in 1988. Five years later she received the Nobel Prize in Literature, only the second American woman – and the first black American woman – so honored.
The dustup over Morrison’s novel was included in the press materials from the American Library Association, which each year in the last week of September marks Banned Books Week. Even in the Land of the Free, some would strip us of our freedom to read what we want. >>READ MORE