There is a big controversy between Why the Best Kid’s Books Are Written in Blood by Alexie Sherman and Darkness Too Visible by Meghan Cox Gurdon.
In Gurdon’s article, she argues that now at days, children’s books are being created with the more brutal and horrific versions of reality rather than how it was back in the days. She explains that she was going to a pick out a book for her 13 year old daughter when she realized that every book around her contains stories of vampires, suicide, and self mutilation. She argues against the fact that teen fiction now consists of distorted portrayals of what the real world is really like. She believes that books with such content will have a negative impact on the teenagers brains. Negative impacts such as maybe if the books influence them to commit similar actions or even remind them of their horrific pasts. She believes that content like this should be censored and should never be produced in any more books because this kind of content is very graphic and can change the perspective of the teenagers minds. Some books she stated that should be censored include “The Marbury Lens”, “Rage” and “The Absolutely True diary of a Part-Time Indian”.
Sherman Alexie came into defend his book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” and many books similar to his because he believes that content such as this will help teenagers prepare for the worst of reality or at least help them build a connection with the tragedies they faced in their lives. Alexie stated that “I write to give them weapons-in the form of words and ideas-that will help them fight their monsters”. Alexie wrote this book because he faced tragedies in life as an Indian kid growing up in a poor reservation. He believed that books like this will help teenagers go through the tough times because they are not alone and they don’t ever have to feel like they are fighting alone. He believes that these books are examples of reality whether it is too harsh or not, because not everyone is the same, people is struggling somewhere and somehow. Literature like this is what can really empower them with the sense that they are not weak and they are not helpless, but that they are strong enough to fight, and for others, strong enough to prevent such things from happening.
Books shouldn’t restrict content like this because, even though it is very harsh, it is the reality we live in. People in this world face situations that we can’t even imagine. Books like this can prepare kids to fight against the darkness of reality and for those who already faced the struggle, it can help them connect with the literature. The connection could help them face their struggle or even help them find comfort from everything that they have been through. Sherman Alexie makes a valid point in which censoring such content will not change the fact that people have already faced the darkness of reality. Literature like this will not have a negative impact on them but will have a much more positive impact. It will allow the struggling teenagers to realize that they are not alone in this world when they are facing these difficult times.