Children's favourite books removed from library shelves after parents complain they’re 'offensive'


apolgoes for an article from the dm but it did make me look twice.

it seems some Public libraries have had to withdraw dozens of long-standing children's favourites after parents complained they were offensive

what do you think?

evenI like the Roald Dahl Revolting Rhymes and Even More Revolting Rhymes espcially the tale of red riding hood with her pig skin bag, wolfskin coat and the pistol in her knickers

What happened to letting people make the decision for themselves. 

I think it's up to me what I think is suitable for my child not other parents. 

I have no issue with books falling out of fashion because they are no longer appropriate. I think there is a place for censorship to a degree. So kooks about defeating/ outwitting nasty black natives (not referring to tintin or Babar here- not read either) probably don't have room on a children's bookshelf TBH.I think we have to be sensible about this though. Revolting rhymes? Yes it's slightly 'naughty' but there's no harm in it IMO.

Also I heard a quote the other day- on Criminal Minds, actually, but I thought it was a good one-"Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed." G.K Chesterton. The whole point of a good fairy tale then, trad or modern, is to be a little bit outlandish, a little bit gruesome, with a frisson of fear in it, that's the whole point isn't it?

I agree wholeheartedly, EB, it's ridiculous removing books from a library when surely you'd think those parents who object could just steer their children away from the less savoury books if they're so bothered? Why censor what anyone else reads; once again it's a noisy minority kicking up a stink and removing someone else's choices. Just don't read Revolting Rhymes, if it's so terrible. Personally I think books like that are what encourage certain children to read; my son doesn't want all prissy happy-ever-after stuff, he likes books full of danger, snot and gore. And frankly I'd rather a child of mine read something revolting than nothing at all. 

I find it hard to believe that librarians are prepared to pull a book after ONE complaint. Des this mean if I go into the library and complain that I find Twilight offensive and objectionable, that they will pull it from the shelves? Somehow I doubt it. Why on earth aren't these idiotic librarians standing up to these bigoted parents and telling them to just borrow other books?

Incidentally, i also find it a bit strange, given the TINY numbers of people who claim to use libraries, that so many of the presumably avid readers who DO use the libraries enough to be offended by the content of books, are so stupid and ignorant. I'm going to the library this morning and i'm going to ask them about their policy on removing children's books.

Withdrawing Revolting Rhymes would be more trouble than its worth - the number of people who want to borrow it must surely exceed the number of people complaining about it.

I do think it’s a tough balance. I think the trouble is “Children’s” is to big a catchall. What is appropriate for a pre-school aged child, is not appropriate for a 13 year old (which I guess is about the age limit before they are reading young adult about vampires) and vice-versa.

You should, in my opinion, be exposed to the more normal* version of fairy tales (or any story) before hearing the adapted versions, otherwise how do you know what it’s adapted from?

So, while I don’t go for censorship, I’d have nothing wrong with extra categories, like 5-7 where Revolting Rhymes can be put so there’s more chance of children having heard/read the original before reading the adapted.

*of course, there are many subtleties of ‘normal’, and my children have heard slightly different versions due to Russian versions being closer (I feel) to the original – for example the wolf eating grandmother rather than a sanitised version of locking her in a cupboard.

Are they going to withdraw George's Marvellous Medicine as well? I ask only because if you ask any primary-aged child about their favourite part of GMM, they will almost without exception tell you that its the bit where Grandma is described as having a little scrunched-up mouth like a dog's bottom.To be honest, its my favourite bit as well, but it does colour the way one looks at elderly ladies...

As a parent there are books that I would prefer my DDs not to read but that is my daughters and not anyone else's child. Just because I don't like a particular children's book doesn't give me the right to tell other people what their children should read.
Our council's library computer system is set up so that children can't take out books that are aimed at an older age group unless a parent okays it.