Save the imprisoned: read a banned book today!

Banned Book Week raises awareness about literary censorship

Brianne Gardner, Reporter

September 27 through October 3rd was Banned Book Week, the one week when it’s encouraged to read books with topics seen as “controversial”. One of the books often heard of is To Kill A Mockingbird, Which is banned due to language content, and racism. Some people may argue that these challenged books should be banned from schools and libraries, but others disagree.

Banned Book Week has been created for the purpose of promoting freedom of literature. While these books have topics that are keen, many say they are important for our culture. “Books are a great way to deal with what life gives you, and these topics are all too real in today’s society,” said junior Jason Kennedy,  (real name withheld).

“[Banned book week] is a good idea, I don’t think they’ll unban them though,” said sophomore Dallen Cameron. This is the worry of many. Students may agree that it’s a long shot to convince others of their beliefs of freedom of literature, but that was never a reason to stop trying.

“It’s great that there are so many people getting involved with this program, maybe we’ll make a difference to somebody,” said Kennedy.

People have been banning books for hundreds of years. Ancient Greeks would ban books if they didn’t agree with the thoughts portrayed in them, this was one of the first forms of banned books, but Banned Book Week wasn’t created until 1982 by Judith Rugg, in order to bring awareness to these banned/challenged books. Since then, it’s been put into action the last week of September every year. It’s celebrated in many countries as well, not just America. People all around the world, stand up for this common belief, many people forget this, and it causes some to not put effort into it.

“We can’t stand up alone. Even if everybody in the school reads one banned book, it wouldn’t be enough. We need others, in a combined effort,” Kennedy said.

On the other hand, some believe that some books should be banned from schools. Jenny Kaplin (real name withheld), mother of a student, said “Books should be banned because kids can pick up a book that has a nice sounding title and not read the summary. If the child likes the book, they might not tell their parents that it has bad language or morals. If the child doesn’t know what the bad words are, they might say them at school and therefore get suspended or expelled.”

Students participated in Banned Book Week at the library by stopping by the library and picking up one of the books on display. But just because Banned Book Week is over, doesn’t mean students should forget about these books. Many of the popular books read today are banned. Harry Potter, for example, The Hunger Games, and all of John Green’s books. These are banned due to violence, sexual content, language, and patronizing. As Kennedy said before, the topics in these books are real. Society today has these issues everywhere, it’s inevitable to get away from. But books have a way of influencing the minds of people everywhere, people can learn life lessons from these books.

“I would like to see these books coming off of the banned list, it’s not fair that students can’t read certain books because of the content. They teach us a lot, and everybody deserves to read whatever they would like,” said Kennedy. “I will always continue reading, I want to prove to others that they can’t take these books away from me.”