This is Banned Books Week, a national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982.
I believe parents should be careful about all media, including books, to make sure that children and teenagers are exposed to material that is age-appropriate and consistent with the values of the family. What I do here is intended to provide support for parents to make sure that happens. But that does not mean that I support the banning of books, movies, or other media by school systems or libraries. The books that attract controversy and calls for censorship can often be the books that best help us understand and cope with life’s most complicated, scary, and disturbing challenges. Banned books have included classics by Mark Twain, Toni Morrison, and Roald Dahl. There are many events in celebration of the freedom to read but the best celebration of all is to read something yourself and encourage your children to do the same.