In between my musings on parenthood and other related topics I want to take a moment to recognize that we are in the middle of this years celebration of banned book-week. Books unite people, they open minds, they reach across time and teller to weave a fabric of shared human existence, both the triumphs and the failures. Books are living things, words have meaning both in the context they are written and the form they take on the page. Banning books doesn’t ban ideas, it doesn’t ban the reality or things that make us feel uncomfortable or that we don’t agree with. Banning the book Gender Queer doesn’t change the gender identity of youth, it simply denies them the opportunity to identify or understand and not only feel less pain but perhaps cause less pain. Banning a book that talks about rape or incest won’t change the fact that 1 in 10 rape victims are male or that 1 in 6 women experience some form of sexual assault during their lifetime. Banning a book that touches on these subjects maintains shame around them, and the individuals and families that deal with it are denied an opportunity to know they aren’t alone. Books unite us, triumphs and tragedy, pain and joy, and trying to ban them is a harmful waste of energy we all need to address real problems.