Today’s parents face a tough battle. Neighborhoods are a lot more complicated than they were in the 1960s: every culture, every religion, every idea, every different standard, lives right next door. Information is received at lightning speed via the Internet, and children can be caught up in this whirlwind, subjected to things that they are still too young to understand or are emotionally unfit to handle.
Censorship seems to be an answer to the growing problem of how to care for and watch over our children. But books are meant for exploration, for questioning. Within a book’s pages, children are safe to explore their feelings and reflect on their own situations. Putting the right book into the hands of the right child has great value and changes lives. It can be empowering, motivating, and inspiring.
Here in the United States, an ostensibly free country, one where people are encouraged and given the legal right to speak their minds, we have been balancing personal freedoms and rights. But our media challenge this balance every day. As consumers, we respect artists and allow them the freedom of expression. At the same time, we are aware that children are seeing some unsuitable situations—but we are not always in agreement about what we want our children to watch, hear, or read.