Few things are more frustrating to me than hearing about people banning books or threatening to ban books. First of all it's the age of the Internet. Do these people seriously think they can control all the information people are accessing by banning a book from schools or libraries? Seriously?
One of my favourite parts of hearing about people trying to ban a book is the inevitable backlash. They always seem to underestimate this. It's fun to watch the sales of the threatened book soar. I'm sure Speak's sales have been pretty good over the past week or so! :)
I've read several books from this list aloud to my students over the years. The Giver is always a favourite. As are Harry Potter, Julie of the Wolves, A Wrinkle in Time, Killing Mr. Griffin, Bridge to Terabithia and The Face on the Milk Carton. If I taught older students, Fahrenheit 451 would definitely be on my list. Bradbury's brilliance needs to be shared.
The last thing we need to do is limit our students' experiences and choices. We need to teach them to think for themselves, to analyze, evaluate and critique. Taking away their right to choose teaches them nothing.
Sometimes people want to ban books because they feel the topics are inappropriate for the age of the target audience. I wonder how many people of the target age they really know and are really able to speak with. Kids deal with a lot. And a lot of it on their own. They already think and wonder. Why would we not allow them to read about these issues, learn new ways to approach and deal with problems? Why would we want them to think they're alone?
What's your favourite book that's been banned or threatened?