For the past two years one of the campus groups I am involved in has done a “Get Caught Reading a Banned Book” Photo Booth outside our cafeteria. It’s one of our more popular events, okay let me be honest. It’s really our only popular event, being the resident atheist/secular club on a college campus in the Bible Belt. But thankfully, people of all walks of life can put aside their preconceived notions and support one thing: less censorship.
We all have those books we treasured as children, but for many of us, these books were taken for granted. My parents didn’t stop me from reading much of anything. I always had access to what I wanted to read, I was almost never told no when I asked them to buy books for me, and my librarians were always champions for the books some people didn’t want to see on the shelves.
But many books, seemingly harmless ones, are challenged by “concerned” parents and patrons. Perhaps their seemingly misguided judgment comes from a good place, but preventing students and children from having access to any book to me, and thankfully many others on my campus, is wrong.
When it comes down to it, many of our favorite, most influential novels, make their way on the list, including many of my own personal favorites. While our Photo Booth doesn’t do much to stop censorship, it is nice to see people become more aware and show their support! So enough of me waxing poetic. Here are some of my favorite books that make their way onto the banned books list:
- Harry Potter– A given, I know. But this series was a crucial part of my childhood that helped turn me into an enthusiastic reader.
- Animal Farm– I cry every time a read this book, and while it does hit you over the head with it’s metaphors, the story is strong and harrowing.
- To Kill a Mockingbird– There are some of my friends who would disagree with this choice, but I remember eating through this book in high school and being blow away by how much I loved it. My copy is so well read the spine is broken.
- Of Mice and Men– I remember crying in class as I finished this book. Hell, I’ll cry again as I defend this story to my grave.
- Captain Underpants– It’s one of the stupidest series I’ve ever read, but it got kids reading! It made so many people I know start to actually enjoy picking up books and going to the library. And while there may be a lot of fart jokes, that’s a great feat.
What are some of your favorite banned books? Which ones would you “get caught” reading? Happy Banned Books Week 2018 everyone!