Banned Books Week, which celebrates the freedom to read, took place during the last week of September this year, but at the time I had no idea what that meant. What was a banned or challenged book? (Banned books are books that have been targeted for removal.) Now after researching more in depth on the topic, I came across the controversial topic of censorship in literature. This was a new idea to me, as I thought that censorship was only used on TV and the Internet. But in children’s books? I thought that I’d shed my opinion on this issue.
It’s outrageous what some parents and teachers consider to be an inappropriate book for children. First and foremost: the Harry Potter series. Harry Potter was practically my childhood. It was the book that I read and reread and just never got sick of. I loved living in the magical world of wizards and witches. But alas, it was at one point a banned book. Why? For the most foolish reason. Parents thought that it was too fantastical, and made children think that magic was real. Also, there is some violence and deaths in the book, particularly the deaths of “good people”. (DOBBY!!!) This is not something that should be reprimanded, rather Harry Potter is showing children the true beauty of sacrifice.
Whew. Now that I’m over my Harry Potter rant, here are some of my other favorite books that have been banned/challenged by schools:
- To Kill a Mockingbird (for racism and offensive language)
- The Hunger Games (for violence, occult, and offensive language)
- Looking For Alaska (okay, I can kind of see this one… There was a lot of alcohol, offensive language, and such.)
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower (for similar reasons as the above)
- The Giver (for euthanasia)
- Twilight (for religious viewpoint and violence)
Here’s the link for a larger list of books> Challenged/Banned Books.
Nonetheless, some books show no particular harm to children, and I see no outstanding reasons of why they were banned. We need to look past the reasons of banning and enjoy the story as an entirety. A story should only be banned for legit reasons, like if the whole story concentrated on negative things or if the story was meant for a different age group. Being a book lover myself, I could not help but stand up for the books that have impacted me in some way or form.
I am definitely looking forward to reading more “banned books” and judging for myself if it was a story worthy enough to go under this title.