Feb 242011

Cheryl Rainfield‘s book, Scars, was recently the number one choice of the American Library Association’s Young Adult Services Association (YALSA) as a Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Rainfield is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and writes from the heart, as do most author’s.

Scars is a novel which follows the horrific memories of Kendra, a teenager who is discovering how to deal with her emotions and trying to uncover the identity of her abuser without continually physically harming herself. Unfortunately, sometimes leaving physical scars is the only way for people to deal with their emotional scars. If you’re someone who goes through this it’s only fair to realize you’re not the only one.

Books such as Scars is facing a challenge in a Kentucky library because of a patron’s complaint. This happens too frequently and although I agree that some books should taken out of libraries but these are typically, in my opinion, children’s books which teach terrible behaviour. Young adult and adult books may ruffle feathers of its readers and that’s perfectly ok, again in my opinion.

At certain points in a person’s life they are responsible enough to choose what they read and if the content is too harsh or something they won’t enjoy they can make the decision to put it back on the shelf. This being said, stories that make a person understand that others are suffering as well and deal with it in the same manner.

Should books have ratings the same ways a movie would? Maybe… but I really believe it’s the responsibility of the reader and/or the reader’s parents to monitor the book selection. To have one taken out of a library or book store because one person or parent doesn’t approve is unfair to the rest of the people who need this book, and/or others, to help them cope.

What do you think should be done? Do you agree that racist children’s book should be made available as a teaching tool? Do you think books that touch on harsh lesson’s and coping methods should be banned, behind lock and key or made easily available to those who need them most?

Thanks for reading and sharing your opinion,

Sarah Butland

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