Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly discussion hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books where a bookish topic is discussed each week. This week’s topic is: How do you deal with problematic books?
I don’t really have a lot of experience with problematic books, but here’s how I’ve dealt with one in particular.
The Little House books, by Laura Ingalls Wilder are classics. So many people have read them, and they are considered to be really sweet stories. Until you look at them a little more closely…
For those of you who don’t know, the Little House books are the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family’s journey west. The books show what the journey west could be like for some people, and tells the story of a family of pioneers and homesteaders.
One problematic part: Ma is really racist! They all are, in some way. Laura realizes it, and through her writing shows that her family’s ideas on Native Americans were wrong and very racist, but it is still shown.
When I first read these books, I was really little and didn’t recognize this. I recently reread a few of the books, and was astonished at how awful some of their ideas of the time were.
I don’t hate these books now; they are still some of my all time favorites. However, now, I can see the problems, and move past them. Just because parts of them are seen as problematic, I’m not going to get rid of them, completely remove them from their place on my bookshelf!
Personally, I don’t have to agree with everything the author writes in a book to make it a good book, or even one of my favorites! I hope that you enjoyed reading about how I feel about problematic books, and I’d love to hear your opinions, so feel free to chat with me in the comments!