(This article was published last year, but in honor of this year’s Banned Books Week, we are reposting it.)
By Alexus Brock
Turn back; don’t you dare keep reading this article because some people might think it is full of corruption and lacks what they could consider as wholesome views. Within this article, I cannot bring myself to deny what really happens within our world. Of course, If you realize there is more to a story than a happy ending and stock characters that have a filter on their existence, welcome to the club—more specifically, the banned-book club.
Banned books week is a week that celebrates the freedom you’re exercising right now because you have access to this article whether the public deems it good or bad, but that isn’t always the case. According to the American Library Association, people have attempted to ban more than 11,000 books since 1982. Who wants these books banned you might ask? Well, anyone can challenge a book. Challenge is the term we use for the evaluation process that will determine whether a book will be banned. A challenge is much more than a disapproval of a book. It expresses the desire to take this book from others to read. This could be an act such as removing a book from a library shelf or eliminating this book from a teacher’s curriculum. Many people protest this a violation of their freedom of speech. If a challenge is accepted, then a book can be banned either permanently or temporarily.
Of course, you want to hear that you are a rebel, and if you’ve ever (as a student) have read a banned book, then the answer is absolutely (Unless you’re the kid who sticks his/her gum in this book to never be found again). Some of the challenged or previously banned books that multiple English teachers have within their curriculum here at MCHS are The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Fahrenheit 451, and To Kill a Mockingbird. If you haven’t read any of these books, don’t worry. You’re still cool. There are also multiple well-known contemporary books that are challenged. Some of these books include Looking For Alaska by John Greene, The Holy Bible, Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and The Perks Of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Not going to lie, cried a little bit typing that one out).
Whether you’re a book lover or not, Banned Books Week is still something you can fully participate in. Engage in conversation with your fellow classmates, teachers, and libraries about the things you liked or disliked in a book. If you’re not a book lover and don’t like a specific novel, remember this: someone else really loves that novel. Don’t rain on their parade. For example, someone could really really love this article. Thank you, I’m flattered. But if someone really hates it, you don’t have to read it.