Next week is Banned Book Week. All across the nation, libraries are celebrating the freedom to read by drawing attention to the problem of censorship here in the United States. Many college students are shocked to learn that the practice of book banning and challenging continues to this day, with assaults on Freedom of Speech robbing would-be patrons of their right to read materials of their choosing and of authors to make their materials available to everyone who wishes to view them.
We asked college students here at DC3 to look over this list of banned and challenged books and to give their opinions on the practice of banning. Here is what they had to say:
Hannah W – “I don’t understand why they’re banned. Like, Winnie-the-Pooh . . . what? That doesn’t make any sense. By people banning it, they’re showing that Freedom of Speech is not ok. Kids are missing out on life lessons because [these books] do teach some things.” [Some books on the list that she’s read: Twilight, The Hunger Games, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, A Wrinkle in Time, James and the Giant Peach, A Light in the Attic, The Holy Bible: King James Version, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Green Eggs and Ham, The Lorax, Winnie-the-Pooh, Charlotte’s Web, Where’s Waldo?]
Elizabeth A – “[Book banning is] sad because Twilight – it’s an awesome book to read. I feel like people will be missing out on a beautiful love story.” [Some books on the list that she’s read: Twilight, The Stand]
Calvin K – “I am absolutely astounded as to why some of these treasure troves of knowledge, life lessons, and creativity would be banned from the public. Many of these stories are great life lessons for many children as well as adults. Others are great works of literature that would take many a reader on a wondrous journey.” [Some of the books on the list that he’s read: Declined comment.]
Roland C – When asked what people would be missing out on who weren’t allowed these materials, he responded, “Life lessons . . . my childhood.” [Some books on the list that he’s read: The Hunger Games, Bridge to Terabithia, A Wrinkle in Time, The Giving Tree, Green Eggs and Ham, The Lorax, Charlotte’s Web, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Where the Wild Things Are]
Carly L – “I am very surprised that these books were banned. Most of them are fiction and unreal. People are missing out on great stories and the joy of experiencing them.” [Some books on the list that she’s read: The Hunger Games, Twilight, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Harry Potter, Where’s Waldo?, The Lorax]
Luis A – “I feel sad because a lot of people are going to miss out on reading good books. People are missing out on the action, mystery that the books offer.” [Some of the books on the list that he’s read: Green Eggs and Ham, The Stand]
Krissy P – “[I am] stunned. They are good books to read. The Bible tells you information that you need to know. Nothing is wrong with Winnie-the-Pooh. It’s a children’s book! They are missing out on some pretty cool things. They should be allowed. It’s amazing how [people] ban books that are great and no foul language and keep ones that have horrible things in them.” [Some of the books on the list that she’s read: Gossip Girl, Winnie-the-Pooh, The Holy Bible: King James Version, Bridge to Terabithia, Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl]
What are your views on the practice of banning books? What do you think that people who are denied access to these materials are missing out on?