A week ago I participated in an online book club. We all read I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. I absolutely loved the book. This one is going on my Lifetime List of Best Books Read. As it turns out I was in the minority in my glowing report. Although it would have been nice to know there were people who saw the book the way I did, that’s not why I’m writing this today.

The book was so beautifully written that parts literally moved me to tears. Some of the book club participants agreed that it was well written, but most felt the content of this autobiography was reprehensible. One person called it trashy! Most participants wished they hadn’t read the book. One person said it should never be allowed to be read by high school students. That’s what has bothered me all week and why I am writing this post.

When my oldest child was in sixth grade he discovered science fiction/fantasy books and began devouring them. He took them to school to read when he  had finished his other work. His teacher went crazy, said these books were absolutely unfit for children and shouldn’t be read by adults either. This was my first personal experience with banning books. I was horrified then and it horrifies me today. For someone else to tell me (or my child) what I can or can’t read is just plain wrong. In my opinion, all books should be available for everyone who wishes to read them. Let each individual make his/her own choices.

I’ve since learned that Maya Angelou’s books have been banned in the past. How sad that people have missed reading this beautifully written book because someone else thought they couldn’t handle it. It hurts when book banning gets too close.

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