Mission America

Christian Commentary on the Culture

'Banned Books Week' Protects Low Quality Trash

[Warning: graphic content]

 

You take your children to the library. What a wholesome place, brimming with sweet stories and mind-expanding ideas as kids discover the delights within the covers of a book. Oh, the love of reading! Nothing here but candy canes and lollipops.

 

Yet today, nothing could be further from the truth.

 

And I’m not even talking about 'drag queens' reading to pre-schoolers, although that horror readily assaults child innocence in many local libraries.

 

In one of the most diabolical tragedies of modern America, many public and school libraries dispense mental, emotional, and spiritual poison. And parents and schools are being manipulated into a “hands off” position by one carefully-crafted, accusatory word.

 

Censorship.

 

“Banned Books Week” is September 22- 28, the annual effort by the American Library Association and its army of leftist library drones to plant a territorial flag in the literary sand.

 

Parents, do not mess with us. This land is our land, and do not question what we bring before your children-- we, and our friends in self-interested publishing houses that rake in the profits while destroying a child’s dreams, ideals and sanity.

 

My friend and diligent book analyst Debbie DeGroff has the goods on these people. In fact, what she reveals in her new book, Between the Covers: What’s Inside a Children’s Book? is so disturbing that we need to think about libraries in a new way. 

 

Almost every building needs a “Parental Advisory” notice on the front door.

 

Is it any wonder “Drag Queen Story Hours” are welcomed without objection by many librarians today? Good judgment and age appropriateness left these buildings a long time ago.

 

The detailed picture Debbie paints is one of systematic “dumbing down” of youth literature, combined with vulgarities and XXX-rated obscenity so outrageous, one initially thinks it’s a joke from a satire site.

 

I want to give examples, even though it’s hard to choose from among the hundreds of clips DeGroff provides her readers. And she has, by the way, read all the books, a project undertaken over many years. The “intellectual freedom” defenders of trash for children often accuse concerned parents of lifting selected passages out of context, being Nazi-like censors and so on. Yet they do this all the time. 

 

DeGroff says this: “Objectors are dangerous book burners but librarians dumping books in the dark are conscientious weeders. Go figure (p. 73).”

 

The problem is not just the library, but within classrooms, where teachers give students suggested reading lists. DeGroff paints a picture that will leave any concerned adult heartbroken but also angry. Current themes for younger children include many titles that promote gender confusion and homosexual parenting but also the distorted messages of other “social justice” agendas.

 

And for middle and high schoolers, no subject is off limits, with soul-crushing stories that explicitly depict teens molested by fathers; engaging in oral, anal, or vaginal sex; identifying as homosexual or the opposite gender; getting an abortion; using drugs and alcohol; engaging in student/teacher sex; suicidal, depressed, violent, or suffering horrendous bullying; or who mock or disobey parents. 

 

Parents in today’s books are right out of the files of child protection agencies-- drunks, druggies, promiscuous, porn-users, neglectful, abusive and worthy of contempt and disobedience.  Young readers are also indoctrinated with Marxism, false faith, sorcery, and a scornful attitude toward authentic Christian doctrine. 

 

And publishers pander to low literacy levels. Even “award-winning” books written for teens have low Lexile scores. DeGroff also reveals how unreliable online descriptions of these books can be and how bizarre reputable sources actually are.

 

Students and teachers may use the Lexile Framework for Reading “Find A Book” website. Vocabulary words are identified according to algorithms employed by Lexile. DeGroff gives many examples and screen shots. Parents might be stunned to find that in a book called City of the Snakes by Darren Shan,one of its ten selected “power vocabulary words” is “fu*@ers.” This book’s audience is 14 to 17- year-olds but has a 4thto 5thgrade reading level. 

 

Apparently some computer identified this word because it is so frequently used. Debbie lists numerous other books with the same “important” vocabulary word. [Update: Since we first posted this article and it has been reprinted on several other sites, the Lexile folks have taken down these offensive vocabulary words! Go HERE to DeGroff's blog for all the details.]

 

One book aimed at high schoolers, Run the Game by Jason Myers, has a third-grade reading level yet contains 1328 “f-words” and many other vulgarities as well—s-words, c-words, and so on.

 

On just one page of the book Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan are 26 f-words.  Levithan, the author of numerous youth books glorifying homosexuality, is also an editor at Scholastic, Inc, which promotes many anti-family agendas. This publisher needs to be kicked out of your school book fairs, by the way.

 

What about “reluctant readers”? One book, Identical by Ellen Hopkins,was a 2009 YALSA “Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.” The subject matter?A girl being molested by her father—described in heartbreaking detail. 

Publishers have come up with another lure: “graphic novels” (glorified comic books) with low reading levels but sensational content. Surely, parents will think, “accelerated readers” get a better product. No. This group gets extra doses of “mature themes” with enhanced obscenity.

What possible positive message is presented in a book like Uses for Boys by Lorraine Scheidt? DeGroff describes this book featuring Anna, a fatherless seven- year-old girl whose negligent mother is preoccupied with dating.  Anna is molested at age thirteen by a boy, an episode described in too-vivid detail. Anna brings other boys home, and with one, pulls out the box of pornography her stepfather left behind. And it goes on from there with marijuana, more lurid sex scenes until she is pregnant and gets an abortion. She eventually dates a boy from a stable family but has sex with him too.

 

What can we do? There are really two problems—how to change the system that produces such garbage, and how to protect your own children. Number two is simple yet time-consuming. You must not automatically trust the library or classroom, and you must double- check anything recommended to your child. 

 

But how do we change the library and publishing professions, with so many cold-hearted, jaded people who apparently believe this is permissible, even good for kids? 

 

This is obscenity, not literature, and distributing obscenity is a crime. It’s just not prosecuted very often today. That needs to change.

 

DeGroff discourages marching to the school board with objections about specific books, because today, they are placed on a “challenged” book list with increased attention and sales as a result. 

 

Here’s my thought—why not put together lists of numerous books, gathered from your own research, from Debbie’s book (which I highly recommend), and other sources? Distribute them online or in front of libraries with cautions for parents. That way, they are not “banned” and no single book gains from notoriety.

 

Whatever you decide to do, be sure to do something. How about removing your children from public schools? 

 

This is a new day, where children are being deliberately corrupted through text. There are better books out there. Your job is to find them.