festival_of_booksAbout four years ago, just before I left Washington, DC, I was having a conversation with one of my philosophy professors. He and his wife homeschooled their nine children. Sitting in his office, I noticed on his desk a copy of Anne of Green Gables. I’d never read it, and neither had he. He said he was just about to start reading it because his daughters were just about to start reading it. He wanted to know what they were soaking in so that he could provide a proper lens, a proper framework.

This need for parents to screen what their kids are reading or taking in is more important now than ever. Now, what is mainstream was once considered reprehensible. Now, the culture war is fought on many fronts–including through children’s literature.

For instance, Katherine Jean Lopez has this to say about that Judy Blume book on your shelf. As parents, we think we are doing a good deed in giving our children books. I’ve always wanted my children to be avid readers. But they must be reading the right things. We must provide some filter for them to point them to what is true, good, and beautiful, and away from what is base propaganda.

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One thought on “Children's Literature or Propaganda?

  1. Amen! I love Anne of Green Gables–the series as a whole seems to encourage girls in the values that matter. Forget the movies, which turn Anne into a 21-st century, career-scrounging, childless woman who goes off to war. Focus on Anne’s House of Dreams, where she ends up the very, very happy mother of six. The spirituality requires some discussion… it’s your basic Puritan America “personal prayer” life. But on the whole… yes, skip Judy Blume. I still have gross residue left from her books.

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