01 October 2010

Banned Book Week: Where the Sidewalk Ends

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.  ISBN: 9780060291693.

We're coming to the end of Banned Book Week.  I hope I've given people some things to think about.  I hope I haven't been too harsh or alienated any readers.  This is something that I'm passionate about, and the idea of banning or burning books infuriates me.  I have one more regularly scheduled post tomorrow, and then I'll be listing some posts to other banned books that I've covered in the blog throughout the year in case you just want to keep going.  After that I'll return to the one-a-day post schedule.  Those of you who are behind on your reading will be grateful, I'm sure.

I wanted to do one more post on Shel Silverstein.  Some of his poems are silly, but some seem to hit the nail right on the head.  I love that Silverstein actually seems to talk directly to children through his poems.  He seems to be telling them to be children, to stay children for as long as they can, but when they are no longer children great things will be in store for them.  So I'm going to leave you with this last poem.  It's one that I think we all need to hear from time to time, it tells us, "yes, listen to the naysayers, listen to the people with opposing opinions, but also listen to me and know that it doesn't have to be the only opinion."  This is a lesson the banners will never learn, because they aren't willing to listen to the other side or see the positive in someone else's ideas.

Listen to the MUSN'TS
Listen to the MUSN'TS, child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me--
Anything can happen, child
ANYTHING can be.

Banned for suggestions of drug use, the occult, suicide, death, violence, disrespect for truth, disrespect for legitimate authority, rebellion against parents.

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