The minds of children are the most impressionable. Children are not born with any predetermined judgments or ideas about controversial subjects. They do not know what racism, homophobia, or discrimination are, or how to practice them. They are not born knowing what religion they will practice, or even what religion is. This fact about children is among the reasons that children's literature is as important as it is. For as long as humans have been creating them, there have been books that have been considered controversial. Children's books are no different. There have been children's books that have been banned from various places or groups, such as religious groups, schools, and even entire countries. The reasons behind the banning of these books vary, and the criticism of censorship as a practice is an issue that is widely debated. One modern book series that has been censored in varies outlets is the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling.
Censorship is one of the most controversial topics in the world of literature. To many, censorship is just another way of government or other organizations controlling the population. To others, it is the only way to ensure that children are readying appropriate materials. In theory, the idea of censorship is not entirely wrong. Developmentally, there are issues that children cannot handle at certain ages. For instance, a five year-old child should not be reading the same books as a twelve year-old, who should not be reading the same books as an eighteen year-old, simply because they are at varying degrees of developmental readiness for said books. The problem with censorship arises when observing the idea that the books that censorship is not occurring with consideration for the child.
Most studies about censorship do not note or even consider a child's opinion on the subject. With the rare exception, we generally do not know childrens' views on books being banned. However, Natasha Isajlovic-Terrry and Lynne McKechnie, independent scholar and librarian, respectively, performed a study using six children between the ages of nine and twelve. In the study, the children were asked various questions pertaining to the subject of censorship of children's books. They were asked their opinions on censorship, what makes a book inappropriate, and who should decide what they can and cannot read. The children's answers to the questions varied, but overall, they were not in favor of censorship. The children unanimously agreed that adults should not restrict access to what children read, unless it is extremely inappropriate. They felt that books that contained violent images or subject matter should be censored, but they were not concerned with books about other potentially controversial subjects such as homosexuality, sex, the paranormal, and witchcraft or wizardry. The children also felt that movies and video games using violence are far more inappropriate than reading about violence in books.
In addition, the children...