Dear those who have banned or are trying to ban The Perks of Being a Wallflower,
Why is it that in every generation there are people who try to ban the very literature that defines and envelopes a population? This book, as much as you want to deny it, captures so much of what it is like to grow up in this day and age. Please, for the sake of future musicians, poets, authors, and humanity, do not ban this book.
Allow me to lay it out for you. Your children will be exposed to, and even may try alcohol and/or marijuana at some point in their high school career. I am not saying that this is good nor bad, I am simply pointing out a simple fact. As much as you would like to not think about it, your kids will talk about, engage in, and have numerous questions about sex during their high school years. Denying this will only cause you not to be a part of the conversation. Gay people are a part of this world and your son/daughter will interact, and probably be friends with at least a couple of them. This is the world we live in whether you believe in it or not. Lastly, depression is a huge issue amongst teenagers. It’s awful and terrible and sometimes just part of growing up, but denying that it exists and not talking about it will just make the problem increase, not go away.
This book discuses all the topics addressed in the previous paragraph. Why is that important? Because it allows kids to connect in a way that is relevant and familiar to what they are experiencing. High school is such a unique and interesting time for every person. There is so much going on and it is difficult sometimes to place the exact emotions and feelings that you are experiencing. Many people, especially in their formative teenage years, personally relate to literature because a story can paint a picture similar to their own. It many times offers a mirrored effect in which the person sees themself in the character and finds comfort in this relationship.
This is not a letter to ask you to change your beliefs or even how you view the world. It is a request though to allow this type of literature in schools, and to allow creativity to flourish. You should tell your child that it is ok to talk about these topics either with you, a teacher, or one of their trusted friends. If it isn’t, it will stay bottled up and explode at some point. This breaking point can be positive, but most of time it is negative, and in the worst case leads to endings such as suicide. So please let the youth live, and love, and hurt, and experience life within a safe environment, and have a place to share their pain, and their happiness. Let the future musicians, poets, authors, and artist express themselves and enjoy the fullness of this complicated life that we are all required to live. And please, let them enjoy the books that have helped so many realize their potential and their worth. I, for one, would not have the same perspectives if it were not for this book.
A Musician/Poet Who Has Felt Infinite Before