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Banned Books Week: An Opportunity in Disguise

bannedbooksBy Shannon Koga


Harry Potter: teaches hope, strength, overcoming impossible odds.


When thinking of the banned books of America, one doesn’t usually associate something as innocent as a middle-grade novel about magic as dangerous to anyone’s children. In the government’s well-intentioned attempt to repress “inappropriate” books, college students are missing out on some powerful literature. Censorship knows no fury, but fortunately, neither do the book-lovers of the world.


The annual Banned Books Week, sponsored by the American Library Association, is about expressing the freedom to read. Banning a book could be the counterproductive equivalent to adding it to a bucket list of things to read.


Some of the most provocative and award-winning novels of the century are banned from public schools around the nation. Novels like: “Speak,” by Laurie Halse Anderson, a book shining light on bullying awareness, “The Bluest Eye” a novel about racism, written by Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, and ironically, “Fahrenheit 451,” by Ray Bradbury, a novel about wrongful censorship.


Cheryl Cruse, Shasta Community College librarian, says, “People may not realize how many new books are banned by people who believe they have the right to tell other people what to read. [Banned Books Week] is about discovering new books.”


The government may censor what is read in schools, but that doesn’t mean we can’t read on our time. And while it may be over, there’s always time for college students to immerse themselves in some old-fashioned, reading rebellion the other fifty-one weeks of the year.


Banned Books Week runs from September 22nd to September 28th. Check out the library for a Banned Books Week display, filled with novels like, Lolita and To Kill a Mockingbird.

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