Should Books be Banned?

Books have been challenged throughout history. These books usually bring up diverse and graphic topics, sparking people’s ideas and changing people’s views on reality.  

Emily Ramos

What does it mean when a book is challenged?

There is a difference between challenging and banning a book. Many people use the two words interchangeably even though they are not the same thing. When a book is challenged it means that people are attempting to remove it. This is usually based on the opinions of a certain person or a group of people. Challenging a book may seem like someone is expressing their point of view on the material but in reality, it is an attempt to remove the material so that the public cannot read it. 

why are books banned?

Oftentimes books are challenged to “protect people,” ideally children or younger people from gaining other ideas or information. Books may be challenged due to “inappropriate” content or “offensive” language. There are certain titles that adults believe are not suited for certain age groups and so they challenge these titles. English teacher Mr. Warner says, “They gain a false sense of safety, they think that they are keeping students from encountering ideas but I want my students and children to encounter ideas and talk to me about them.” He expresses that students should be given the opportunity to make their own decisions and have their own opinions. He usually makes his students read challenging books, he hopes to bring discussions about serious topics and have his students broaden their horizons. His English class was just reading Beloved. “It deals with horrible things that happen under slavery, it is very graphic but it forces us to grapple with the realities of what it was like,” he explains. 

Readers are often said to be intelligent people. This is due to the range of experiences and different situations which they encounter in books. If students are not given the opportunity to learn about these topics then they are being pushed into a fake reality. Being aware of the challenges in this world is important as it causes us to look away from ourselves and pushes us out of our selfishness which has been settled around us. Reading books with difficult topics can encourage gratitude by reminding readers that many things in their normal lives are actually quite luxurious. It brings a better understanding of lives outside of our own. It may be difficult to read about certain topics outside of our comfort zone but it puts us in the place of the main character. The impact of what we read stays with us for a life long after the last chapter has ended. 

 Mr.Warner shares his opinion on this topic. “I don’t think that books should be banned. I understand that it makes people nervous but every time you ban a book you steal someone’s opportunity to see a different perspective.” It is important for students and younger generations to read more diverse books. Being able to see the world from different points of view is something that can help open people’s minds, giving them a better understanding and greater empathy for others who suffer through difficult situations.


Should books be banned?


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