Thoughts on the Right to Read

Cirdan’s Note: Here is a reflection from a Grey Havens YA member, Jayne, in honor of Banned Books Week.  

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Did you know that the Harry Potter series has been frequently challenged and banned?

Banned Books Week is September 21-27.  “Celebrate the Right to Read” is all over the website.  That’s a great slogo, but what makes me mad is the fact that banned books exist.  Some of the reasons the books are banned are some of the same reasons my mom has had me wait to read a book, but it was my mom telling me what I could and couldn’t read. She didn’t think I was old enough for the content, which I agreed with upon finally reading the book.  What’s ridiculous that libraries, schools, and even governments are banning books.  Why should some Board of Official Blah Blah Blah be telling me what I can and can’t read?!  What I read is my decision.  I looked through the list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books, and I was quite surprised.  I had read many of them.  Some, I read and didn’t like for a few of the reasons listed, but that doesn’t mean they should be banned.  Lets say you saw a movie and really didn’t like it.  Your friend tells you they are going to watch it.  So the only logical thing to do is rip the DVD from their hand and shred it because you didn’t like it, and therefore, NO ONE ELSE SHOULD EVEN HAVE ACCESS TO IT, right?  NO!  This is pretty much what banning books is like.  I’m not saying that everyone has to like the same things.  It’s fine to not like something, but that doesn’t mean your opinion should completely override someone’s ability to even have access to whatever it is you don’t like.

Send us an owl: How will you celebrate the right to read?

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