The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Books and literature are vital to growth as a society and the sharing of ideas. Censoring and/or banning books silences important stories that need to be shared. If you think of banning books, you may think of a dictator telling you what you aren’t allowed to read. While this has been the case in the past, today it is much more subtle. So subtle, you might be thinking, “Wait… people ban books?” State and local governments across the United States constantly censor and ban books; sometimes for laughable reasons, other times for more serious ones. This is an issue that dominates the literary world and remains a complex, controversial issue.
September 18th-24th of 2022 is banned books week. As someone who values education and the sharing of ideas, banned books week is a huge deal to me! We shouldn’t “celebrate” banned books week, but rather we should view it as a call to action. A call to take notice of where and when censorship is happening, as well as whose stories are being silenced. Books unite us, we cannot let important stories be erased from history.
Some of the most banned books of all time are: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
1984 by George Orwell
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Others include: A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Each of these stories relay an important message, and one that those in power do not want us to read. Reflect on this and ask yourself “why?” Why are these banned? Why shouldn’t we read them? Why do people in power get to decide what we do or do not read? Take time to research and learn about your FREEDOM!