1. Why is it important to learn about censorship and banned books in children’s literature?
2. A school district in Texas recently banned approximately 400 “vulgar” books to “protect students from feeling ‘psychological distress because of their race or sex'” (Zoledziowski, 2021, para. 1-2). They have even gone so far as to create a list so that parents can keep track of what their children are taking out of the library. If you could write to these administrators about the value of literature, what would you say, and why?
3. Some of the books on our reading list covered some very challenging topics, including genocide, gun violence, colonialism, racism, death, and discrimination. Kids don’t want to read emotionally heavy books all the time, though – reading can (and should!) also be entertaining. Based on what you read in your book selections (with special focus on picture books, poetry, and novels), how do you think children’s literature inspires and invites children to consider the value of joy?