Friday, September 22, 2006

"This isn't a good way of problem-solving"

The quote above is from a parent, commenting on the children of Bradbury's "The Veldt" plotting and observing the death of their parents.

This is the latest attempt to get Bradbury removed from the classroom. There is a great irony here: Bradbury has such a deep and intuitive understanding of the child mind, that his stories are ideal for the classroom - and in the US he is very widely taught. But because he writes tales of horror and suspense and often, famously, writes about a future in order to prevent it, he comes under attack from parents and occasionally librarians who would like to protect the innocents.

(Of course, anyone who thinks children are innocent should definitely be reading "The Veldt" and "The Small Assassin", among others.)

For more on the challenge to "The Veldt" (which was rejected, by the way), see this report from the Beaverton Valley Times.

By some quirk of irony, this week is also apparently Banned Books Week, an event sponsored by American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Library Association, Association of American Publishers, American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Association of College Stores. Naturally, Fahrenheit 451 springs to mind whenever we think of banning books, and this report makes the customary mention.

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