Banned Books Week


Imagine being told you could not read a book because it is “inappropriate.” Imagine someone else taking away your right to learn and read whatever book you want to because they might not agree what is being said in the novel. Banned Books Week is an annual reading of banned books in order to celebrate the freedom to read during the last week of September and is supported by the American Library Association; “This freedom, not only to choose what we read, but also to select from a full array of possibilities, is firmly rooted in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press” (“Books Challenged or Banned in 2009-2010, http://www.ala.org/bbooks). Every year, there is a list of books that are challenged by parents and other members of a community who try to get the books removed from libraries around the country.

Not only does this hinder a child’s reading, but I do not think it is fair for a parent to try to get the book removed just because they do not want their child reading it. I do not think they should be allowed to decide what is and is not appropriate for other children. Some of the books on the list this year include: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee because of racism, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank [C1] for supposed sexual and homosexual material, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky because of homosexuality and drug use, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou because it is “inappropriate” for children.

School libraries are constantly fighting parents who want to have books removed because they do not approve of the novel. Is this censorship acceptable? No. No one can tell a parent what they want their children to read, but the same applies that no parent can tell another parent what their child cannot read. It is utterly ridiculous that because they view a novel to be a certain way it automatically means that all parents feel the same way.

So, support the freedom to read this weekend and read one of the many books on the challenged list for this year. Enrich your mind and promote the right for people to read what they want to.

All the information for this article was found at the American Library Association’s website at http://www.ala.org/bbooks.

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