It’s always saddening to see empty bookshelves and abandoned books, especially among young readers when the country has reached an all-time low when it comes to reading for fun.
Pew Research shows: “The shares of American 9- and 13-year-olds who say they read for fun on an almost daily basis have dropped from nearly a decade ago and are at the lowest levels since at least the mid-1980s. “ According to a survey conducted in late 2019 and early 2020 by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
Unfortunately, empty bookshelves have become far too common in the sunshine state. More than 60 titles were removed from the shelves of the Florida county’s public school libraries, according to a list released last week by Martin County.
On Monday, James Patterson, one of America’s most prolific authors, urged his fans to be heard against Ron DeSantis, Florida governor, as he has banned the famous Patterson book series Maximum Ride.
“The ‘Maximum Ride’ series was recently banned by the Martin County Florida School District,” the 75-year-old author wrote to his more than 140,000 Twitter followers on Monday..
DeSantis signed last year's legalization that would require the community's input on the books kids were allowed to read. It’s natural for parents to want to monitor what their kids read, as books are a source of information.
“Naturally, not all books are right for all age groups, and no one wants porn on a school bookshelf. In the past, teachers and librarians used their professional training to determine what was age-appropriate for certain groups, and listened to input from parents and students.
Now, Florida has passed very broadly worded laws that limit what books can and cannot be in schools.” said Jodi Picoult in an oped on website Daily Beast addressing the issue on banned books.
Patterson tweeted out his disbelief of DeSantis' decision to ban his books.
“What do the majority of parents in Martin County think of this arbitrary and borderline absurd decision?” Patterson tweeted out “On what possible grounds”?
He also encouraged readers to send a polite note to DeSantis on the issue of book banning. Picoult validates the concerns of parents by saying “There is absolutely nothing wrong with a parent deciding a certain book is not right for her child.”
For her, the real problem occurs when only one parent decides what books they can read for all the children.
“The banned books on these lists are not salacious or revolutionary. What children are actually being exposed to are lives different from their own, and mindsets different from their own—which creates compassion and empathy.” she said.
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