Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

In Praise of Reading Dangerously

on October 23, 2013

Some governments, schools, and parents try to prevent children and young adults from reading books that are “dangerous” or not “age appropriate”. Others argue that these “dangerous” books are often good for teaching them about adult issues, challenging their views, and making them more empathetic to different types of people. Besides, dangerous books can be more fun to read and, if so, will get people interested in reading even more.

A student in the US decided to start her own small library containing books that her school had banned. Read her story HERE and tell us your reaction in the comments.

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12 responses to “In Praise of Reading Dangerously

  1. Kaori Kubo (T4) says:

    I don’t think the student is doing a wrong thing. In fact, her action and ideas deserve praise. If a book has literary quality, my opinion is that it should be read by anyone who is willing to do so regardless of the topic.If students are old enough to decide for themselves what they should be reading, they should be given the freedom to read what they want to.

  2. Fumina Watanabe (T4) says:

    I was very surprised at this story. I have read some of the books that was banned in the student’s school, but they were really nice books that could teach many things to us. I think what the school did was not a good thing. I think the school should encourage students to read those good books to open their minds.

  3. Ayane Kawahara(T4) says:

    I was surprised to find that “Bridge to Terabithia” was on the banned books list, because it is the book I read in class in elementary school. It is true that there is a quite shocking event in the book(I won’t say because that might be a spoiler), but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing you can learn from it.I think it is no use trying to get children away from all the things that seem dangerous, because they will have to encounter them someday or another. Also, I think children should have no restriction on what they read, because that will be a good step for them to know the joy of reading.

  4. Miki Hosoda(T4) says:

    I don’t think what the student is doing is a bad thing. Maybe it’s ok for the teachers or adults to regulate what children read until they graduate from elementary school, for example, but as we can see from the students’s story, they are no longer kids. Also, she says she has inspired other students to read and that’s a wonderful thing. Adults must not be too conservative about what children learn from texts.

  5. Eri Fukui (T4) says:

    I am very proud of this girl, even though I haven’t a clue who she is. I was very surprised to know that The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Hunger Games, and Animal Farm, which I have read and love is banned. All three of the books have a very important thing to teach the readers, and I bet all the other books mentioned in her comment has too. I think adults are selfish because they think they are ‘protecting’ children from so-called ‘dangerous’ books, but banning them just makes children want to read them more. Adults should let children read whatever they like(since moat of us are guaranteed the freedom of access to information), and help them learn for themselves what is right/wrong, good/bad, and if they seem stuck, help them out by discussing the issue. And in this case, we are not talking about children under 10 years old(primary school children may need to be protected), so adults really should not be interfering with what students read.

  6. Ai Inoue(T4) says:

    In my opinion, the act of banning books is much more dangerous than reading the so called “dangerous” books. By limiting the students’ knowledge and only letting in information that is convenient for the teachers and parents, the school is able to manipulate the students’ mind in a way. This method was used in Japan during WWII and is still used in some countries that don’t want their people getting “ideas”. If the school is still controlling what to read, they should stop right now.

  7. Ryuji Furukido(T4) says:

    I think she is doing a good thing. The school and their parents can’t and shouldn’t restrict what children read. They have a right to choose what they read. Even if some books contain “dangerous” things, they can still learn something important from reading them. Anyway, I want to say I am really surprised and proud of her courageous business.

  8. Maiko Imai (T4) says:

    She is doing a great thing and should feel proud that she has gave other people chance to read those books. In my opinion the school should not ban books. The reader should read it and decide if its good/bad on their own. Reading books can teach us lots of stuff. It shouldn`t be restricted by some others perspective.

  9. Moeko Ota(T4) says:

    I was very surprised to what the school has done toward the books. I have friend who likes to read books that are categorized in the ” banned books”.but my friend enjoyed it and I didn’t get a bad impression from her. Even if there’s some sort of shocking thing in the book, the school shouldn’t guard their student from reading it because it seems really ridiculous and over protecting.

  10. Natsumi Maruyama (T4) says:

    I don’t think what the student is doing is wrong. I think children have rights to read whatever books you want to read. And I know some of books on the list. I love The Perks of Being Wallflowers.

  11. Kyoko Nomura(T4) says:

    I don’t think what se is doing is a bad thing, but I can’t say that she is doing a right thing. If she wants to read those banned books, she should tell her teacher or her parents and explain why she thinks it’s okay to read the book. Then they would understand and let her read it, I think. She should not let others read her books because each parents have their own opinions on their children what they should read and not read. She has no right to oppose that.

  12. Hong soon hyuk(T4) says:

    I think banning the book is not right. So what this student is doing is acceptable. Student should improve the power to select the book that is good pr bad. also a so-called bad book might be a good book for another peopel. So. It is ridiculous to judge what book is good or bad

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