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The Do - Re - Mi's
of Choosing Books!

"The problem with censorship can be summed up into two words: who decides" (Censorship 76).

The idea of censorship can ruffle feathers and make people uncomfortable. The fields of psychology and sociology continue to demonstrate the negative effect upon a childís formation of exposure to certain content at too young an age, yet the American Library Association censorship guidelines prevent libraries from removing books in the childrenís section that might conflict with this same proven knowledge of child development. Independent booksellers provide parents and children with a great selection of Indie authors to stimulate and challenge their reading habit, yet also celebrate the reading of banned books and often re-classify age designations into two broad categories (children age 0-10, and young adult age 10-18), exposing younger children to books whose advanced social content may be inappropriate for their age. Meanwhile, parents and teachers scramble to assist their child in making good choices.

The difficulty in this becomes even more prominent with gifted readers. Age-level books often do not hold the attention nor stimulate the imagination of the child with an advance reading ability. Yet reading books intended for children several years older can expose them to content inappropriate for their age. And the parent is typically unaware of this exposure. addresses this and offers a viable solution: family censorship. Just as a person has the right to read, so do families have the right to decide as a family what goes in and out of their homes. An important part of family censorship is that each member in the family shares their opinions about the books; if their views are suppressed, this will merely create animosity in the family. Discussing those views creates an opportunity for children to learn values from their parents, for parents to guide the child in their discernment, and for reading to be an element of family bonding. Thus, it is important that everybody participates as a family and that all issues be discussed together, as other forms of entertainment may have less impact upon the child and are more easily controlled by the parent. For example, while a child may be watching a movie for an hour and a half, they will possibly be reading a book for several days or more. Clearly, should unaddressed subject matter come up, the child will have many questions. Thus, before choosing books to read, it is essential to establish the family DO-RE-MIís.

What is the DO-RE-MI of family reading? Think of the song made popular in the movie The Sound of Music: DO, a deer, a female deer, RE, a drop of golden sun. MI, a name I call myself...etc. This aids parents and children alike to remember their DO-RE-MIís before choosing that book.

DO: Where DO your values lie?
RElate to what interests your child(ren) while also keeping to the values you set.
Enter the MInefieldó where does your family stand on important and controversial issues?

It is crucial for families to discuss these topics before deciding what books the children will read. Your family DO-RE-MIís will then accompany your child into the classroom, bookstore and library, guiding them in their selections.

Litland is your tool to good literature. Unlike most book reviews put forth by publishers or individuals on blogs, our reviews utilize a pre-set criteria supporting character formation which illuminates the best of the best, while doing so in an unbiased, objective manner. Elements from the story that can be associated either positively or negatively with family values are identified. Apply your familyís DO-RE-MIís to each book review when deciding if this book is right for your family!



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