Mercedes Schneider explains the uselessness of banning books. For one thing, young people become curious about the forbidden and may seek it out. For another, banning books banishes critical thinking. Reading only those books that confirm what you already believe limits your intellectual development. Try reading something different. Schneider provides a useful description of done of the most frequently banned books.

Schneider writes:

For those who would ban books, here is something to consider:

Developing critical thinking skills requires that human beings are confronted with the unfamiliar and (perhaps therefore) uncomfortable and that we intellectually wrestle with that which does not fit readily and neatly into our current world schemas. To not allow students to be exposed to a variety of reading materials– and to insist that developing minds be “saved” from what others deem unpleasant– is to stymie the growth of the human mind and, ultimately, maturity of the human will.

Rather than rush to ban, a far better option would be to cultivate cross-generational relationships (e.g., parent/guardian-to-child) in which open, nonjudgmental, respectful communication is the norm and to develop a habit of reading and discussing books together.

If you feel a book that interests your child is age-inappropriate, consider setting a date in the future to read and discuss.

Besides, the surest way to prompt a young people to read a book is to vehemently campaign for a book to be off limits. Social media thrives on such undesired popularity.