Saturday, October 4, 2008

A more notable week than the CDC is offering.

It's Banned Books Week.

The most banned book of last year was And Tango Makes Three, a well-illustrated nonfiction children's book about those two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo who formed a nesting pair and hatched an abandoned egg a few years back. Here's the entire plot, anthropomorphism and all: the penguins are friends, they hatch their egg, they become proud fathers.

What it doesn't have is HOT! HOT! HOT! throbbing penguin-on-penguin action.

I mention this because you'd hardly know it from the objections. The book has the unfortunate distinction of being a litmus test for homophobes--there's no sex or politics, just two penguins and their hatchling. That the penguins both happen to be male causes some people to imagine things in it that simply aren't there.

Of course, this hysteria and utter lack of discernment is the common thread among would-be book censors [ahem, cough, Sarah Palin, cough]. If your kid reads books from the American Library Association's most-challenged list, the conclusion that he or she's been corrupted is absurd.

However, the conclusion that you're a good parent may be valid; you've at least raised your kid to be a reader.

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