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Belated Banned Books Week or Charlotte's Web is Dangerous For Your Children

For Banned Books Week we put up a nice display of the books we owned that have been popular targets for challenges. It was nice, but I didn't really think much about it since I've been in this profession long enough that I could put together that list of titles in my sleep.

However, I was leading a tour through the library and one of the students brought the title Charlotte's Web to my attention, and asked why in the world a beloved children's book like that had been banned.

This is where I have to add that as someone who grew up on a hog farm, I got really tired of people asking me if I ever had a pet pig like Wilbur (the answer is no), but I still wore out my parents' VHS copy of the movie based on the book.

I told the student I wasn't sure why it was banned, but guessed that it probably had something to do with talking animals. Only later did I discover I just how horribly right I was.

Last year I wrote about how I was a little burned out on Banned Books Week, but seeing a challenge to a generally uncontroversial book like this reminds me of just how important intellectual freedom is, and that while we may not think much of minor infringements on that freedom, that road can quickly run down the slippery slope to situations like the ones explained in the Banned Books Awareness post I linked above.
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