The right to read
2 mins read

The right to read

“Book banning is one of the most widespread forms of censorship in the United States,” said Population Education. Many books we read as children or in high school are banned or have been challenged from being available to people.

A challenge tries to remove or limit materials because of objections given by a person or group. A banned book is the removal of the materials. Most of the time, challenges are not successful because of committed librarians, teachers and other concerned readers. Banning and challenges are in localized areas. The American Library Association keeps a list of past and current banned and challenged books.

Children’s books like “James and the Giant Peach,” “Where’s Waldo?” and the “Goosebumps” series have all been challenged at some point in the past for inappropriate content. Even “The Giving Tree” has been criticized for criminalizing the forest industry.

Other books such as “The Great Gatsby,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Hunger Games” and “The Fault in Our Stars” have also been banned or challenged.

The most ironic book people tried to challenge was “1984” written by George Orwell. This book is about how the government limited freedom of speech and thought. It was challenged in the past because it had a “pro-communist” point of view.

I believe those who attempt to ban books are wrong. No matter how potentially dangerous those books can be, books should not be banned. Books are crucial for creating new ideas. A book can open new ideas, experiences, identities and futures for those reading it.

If we oppose banning some books, we should be against banning any book. If we are not strong enough as a society to go against difficult, problematic or even hateful ideas then something is wrong with the people, not the books. Banning books is going to send people in the wrong direction. Keeping books with certain content out of the library doesn’t stop people from reading or writing books.

Banning books is showing the fear of dangerous ideas becoming contagious. Exploring topics through books gives people the opportunity to think of morality as well as build empathy for people who are unlike themselves. The Harry Potter books were banned for a short period of time because people thought they promoted witchcraft.

The point is, books are not necessarily “good” for us. Reading a challenged or banned book is a learning experience and can help people discover their own values and opinions.

There are books children shouldn’t read. Parents should be mindful of what children are reading. Some topics should have age restrictions, but overall there should be no bans on books.