Banning books cuts off possibilities

Lauren Gunnell, Staff Writer

As an avid reader, I read quite a lot and the books I’ve read have shaped me to be the person I am today. Over the years, books have kept me great company, and have taught me many things, so I’m disappointed to see that so many books are being challenged and banned for silly reasons.

“Prince and Knight” (by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis), children’s book about a prince and a knight falling in love after defeating a dragon, was challenged because “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children” with the potential to cause confusion, gender dysmorphia, and curiosity, and conflict with a religious viewpoint.

“I Am Jazz (by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas) a children’s book that told the story of a transgender child was challenged because it confronted a topic that is “sensitive, controversial, and politically charged.”

The entire “Harry Potter” series (by J.K. Rowling) was challenged 13 times in 23 states, making them the most challenged books in the 21st Century, and they have been banned in some Catholic schools for referring to witchcraft and magic, containing real curses and spells, and for characters that have “nefarious means” of attaining goals.

“Charlotte’s Web” (by E.B White) a book about a pig named Wilbur that becomes friends with a barn spider named Charlotte was banned in Kansas because “talking animals are blasphemous and unnatural.” The parts of the story where the spider died were also criticized for being “inappropriate subject matter for a children’s book.”

“Thirteen Reasons Why” (by Jay Asher) , a book about a teen girl who sends tapes to the thirteen people that caused her suicide was banned , challenged, and restricted for addressing teen suicide.

“The Hate U Give” (by Angie Thomas) a book about a girl that witnesses the death of her black friend at the hands of a white police officer, was banned and challenged because it was deemed “anti-cop” and for profanity, drug use, and sexual references.

Even though quite a few books are being challenged and banned from schools, the books in the libraries at MHS are safe for now, “We’ve haven’t had a parent ask to have a book removed in the last 15 years, but we’ve had parents ask to not let their students access certain books.” Elizabeth Kenyon, a media specialist at MHS, said.

Books are meant to entertain and educate children, but its hard for that to happen when parents attempt to ban books that talk about serious issues because of simple problems, or narrow-mindedness. I think books should not be banned at all.