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To read or not to read
Close your eyes and picture this: You’re sitting in your Communication Arts class, its reading workshop and you pull out your favorite book. You open up to your bookmarked page and you’re immediately into the book. You feel like you’re with the characters, feeling their every emotion, when your teacher rips the book out of your hand!
“This book has been banned from our school district. You must take it home or I will take it away from you.” The teacher demanded, as you look at him, dumbfounded! You quickly put your book back into your bag and sit in the corner, still thinking about your book. What would make them want to ban it? What other major books have been banned? Well, you may be surprised at the reasons books get banned.
To me, I believe that everyone has the right to read what they want and to read it without being told that its “wrong” or “not age-appropriate.” I think that we are old enough to know the difference between what’s right for our age and what’s not. We don’t have teachers picking out books for us anymore, so I think teachers trust us to make decisions for ourselves now.
Some of the books they ban (or want to ban, in that matter) are classics, like Huckleberry Finn. People have been reading this book for over a decade, and now they have decided to ban it from schools because of the language. Huckleberry Finn, which was fist published in 1885, refers to African Americans as a “nigger” It doesn’t just say it once, try more like 200 times. Some people may think its wrong, but you must remember the day in age. African Americans didn’t have any rights 100 years ago, but think of how many rights they have now.
In the late 1800’s, that’s how African Americans were referred to. I’m not saying that it’s right to call people that, but that was what they were called! Who are we to ban a piece of American history? Who are we to judge something that was written over a hundred years ago? In a hundred years, people are going to think what we said was not proper or not appropriate. Our language evolves over time, so the language gets better and better as the days go along.
Are you then saying that you want to take away the Mona Lisa, because of what she was wearing? It’s basically saying that we don’t like the painting because of her dress! You’re saying that we don’t like the book because of a word! We are basically trying to omit a piece of the past, but what’s done is done. We can’t change the past, and trying to change it by banning a piece of classic literature is wrong, even is it refers to people in a different way. So, I believe that people don’t have the right to ban a piece of classic literature, even if it calls people something different.
Speaking of popular literature, did you know that The Harry Potter series has been challenged 25 times in 17 states since the release in the U.S? There were 478 efforts to remove the books from library shelves and classrooms in 1998-1999 alone. Do you know why everyone wants to ban the series? Just because of the witchcraft! More than 5 million copies have been sold of the first three books alone, so have those 5 million kids tried to kill people with magic? I didn’t think so. Harry Potter is aimed at older kids anyway, so teenagers won’t be running around trying to turn people into animals!
There are a bunch of reasons for not banning Harry Potter, but maybe the most important reason is that the young wizard has made kids put away the video games and pick up a book! Harry Potter has engaged millions of kids into reading! The life lessons that it teachers are valuable and can be used throughout their life: good vs. evil, courage, and overcoming adversity are all appropriate for teenagers.
So if they want to ban Harry Potter, then I guess they will want to ban Halloween too? Halloween has the same idea, magic and fantasy characters. There is nothing wrong with make-believe. It makes kids dream and have a good time while they are young. Children recognize the difference between fantasy and reality! So, I don’t think people should ban a book that makes kids want to read, even if it has fantasy characters and magic in it.
Speaking of fantasy characters, did you know that parents all over the U.S. are trying to ban the newest vampire series, The Twilight Saga? Parents are trying to ban it from the middle schools because of “sexual themes” and “un-appropriate content.” Sure, it may have some kissing, but they don’t go into detail when it happens. Don’t all romantic dramas have kissing in it?
Like I said about the other 2 books, this book is aimed at teenagers, so we should be able to handle this kind of stuff. The author of The Twilight Saga, Stephenie Meyer, is a Christian, so her books would be much cleaner then other vampire books that were written by people with no faith at all. The author said the Twilight has a reading level for 8th graders, so basically for kids in middle school.
They also want to ban The Twilight Series because of the vampire content. I read the books, and I am not going around trying to suck other people’s blood! Nobody is banning the other new vampire series, Vampire Kisses, even though it has the same content. People have been reading vampire books for 100 years, so now they just decide to ban Twilight? My personal opinion is that people don’t like how popular the book is getting, and they just want to get attention for trying to ban on of the biggest series of 2008. So I think that people shouldn’t ban Twilight because nothing is wrong with it and it is in the right age group already.
I believe that people should be able to read what they want. I think that banning shouldn’t be legal and should be banned itself! People are free in America, but we still can’t read what we want? We have freedom here, and we should have freedom to read what we want.