Jill Murphy, Editor-in-Chief at Common Sense Media, Issues Statement on Book Banning Efforts Across the U.S.

Common Sense Media
Tuesday, February 1, 2022

It has been disheartening to see the groundswell happening across the country to ban popular books like Dear Martin, The Complete Maus, and countless others from classrooms and libraries. Reading books helps children explore the many voices that most accurately represent the American experience. By banning books, we also ban difficult dialogues and disagreements, which children are more than capable of having. After all, books are one way to build understanding and empathy, which we all could use more of.

Classrooms should welcome healthy discussions among students about difficult issues such as racism, sexism, homophobia, and so many others. Reading books, even those that some audiences consider to be controversial, offers families and students a chance to celebrate reading and promote open access to ideas, both of which are keys to raising a lifelong reader.

It is not the intention of Common Sense Media to censor or deter content in any way. Our age ratings, which are based on child development research, help guide parents and educators to make informed media decisions for their kids and students. Consumption with healthy discussion is a much better alternative to censorship.

Read more about why kids should read banned books here.

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About Common Sense
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at commonsense.org.

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