Celebrate the freedom to read

Title: King and King
Authors: Stern Nijland and Linda de Haan
Ages: 5-10
In a nutshell: A prince forced by his mother to marry a princess finds his true love - another prince - and they live happily ever after.

Read it. Enjoy it. And celebrate the freedom to read with a children's book that illustrates the diverse world we live in, and the love that brings a range of modern families together.

I don't intend to write about news articles often, but this one about some parents demanding that King and King be taken out of circulation at their public library more-than-irked me. I know this isn't the only instance in the country where this book has caused some controversy - I'm just particularly fed up with people trying to censor for the majority right now. I can understand their frustration. Truly, I can. I felt strongly about the O.J. book. I didn't even want to hear talk about the proposed book, much less see it published and then carried in bookstores or libraries and purchased by people. But the operative word here is felt - as in feelings - as in my feelings do not get to determine what other people can take in for their information.

From the article:

Kathee Rhode, the library's director, said censoring books based on subject matter is the duty of parents, not the library. She said the library strives to provide material representing a spectrum of views and ways of life.

''That's what a public library does, and you make the choice,'' Rhode said. ''We certainly want parents to make that decision for their children -- not one parent making that decision for all children.''

Well said. It is up to families to determine their values and what is right for them, and while I may internally cringe at some ultra-conservative parenting styles, I admire the parents who can say "this book isn't for my kid," and move on with their lives. Don't make that choice for everyone.

By the way, there is a sequel to this book, called King and King and Family, where the newlyweds go on their honeymoon and come home with an adopted baby.

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