29 September 2010
This week is Banned Books Week, and as an English teacher, the freedom to read what we want to, even if someone else is uncomfortable with or offended by the words, is dear to me. You might be surprised at some of the titles that have ended up on the banned or challenged books lists, like the recent one at http://www.library.lapeer.org/2010banned.pdf . Granted there are a number of books on the list I won't be personally checking out any time soon, but a couple of my absolute favorites are there: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and To Kill a Mockingbird. Just this past week, I read the young adult book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, mostly to see what all the fuss is about over in little Stockton, Mo. where it has recently been challenged. Another small town nearby is challenging Twenty Boy Summer so that's next on my list. Words are powerful. Words can hurt and words can scare people. I get that. But words are too important in my life to have someone else tell me which ones I can look at and which ones I can't.