Thursday, September 22, 2016

Banned Books Week, making known your freedom to read

By: Hannah Gandee

   Have you ever thought about being told you could no longer read one of your favorite books? The thought is unimaginable but it happens more often then you would think. Banned Books week was created because the American Library Association wanted a way for the entire book loving community to celebrate and show support for books that are frequently challenged or banned.
   Books such as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald are all classic books on the summer reading lists and course lists that double on the list of Banned and Frequently Challenged Books.
   Even while these books are banned in other places around the world, the libraries both on campus and Jackson County don’t have any books students are banned from reading.
   “I do not believe one parent has the right to tell other parents what their children cannot read, but I also don’t buy books based on whether or not they are on the banned books list,” said librarian Gail Benford.
   The process of banning books is meant to keep people, usually children, from reading books and being influenced by the ideals represented in those stories, which may include sex, violence language, religion, etc. However, this doesn’t always work out like planned.
   “People who ban books are actually promoting them without actually realizing what they’re doing,” English teacher Elizabeth Sayre. When people are told what not to do or read, it makes others curious. This curiosity leads to more people reading the book because they want to know why it’s banned.
   Occasionally students have slightly different opinions.
   Junior Alex Lowe said, “I think banning books depends on the book and the maturity levels of those who read it. If you want to read banned books or not is your decision.”
    The banning of books can be a controversial issue or an issue that no one pays any attention to, but it is your decision on what you read. All people have the RIGHT to make suggestions when they think books should be challenged and banned. As a school we should remember to respect those rights even when our opinions differ.
   Banned Books Week (Sept. 25-0ct. 1) is a time dedicated to expressing your freedom to read by making your support of banned books known. Participation can be anything from reading banned books to getting a bookmark or pin showing your love and support of banned books. Plus, you can stop by the library and Ms. Okes’ room any time and take a look at the bulletin board display by the entrance and check out all the banned and challenged books.

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