When dinosaurs roamed the earth and I ruled the classroom, Banned Books Week was my secret weapon. The most reluctant reader wants to know why A SEPARATE PEACE was deemed dangerous for teenagers in certain school districts. Nowadays, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD may be required reading in schools across the country, but it made the American Library Association's list of Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2011. Who doesn't enjoy a whiff of the illicit?
It's Banned Books Week. Pick up a book in Suzanne Collins' HUNGER GAMES series or Sherman Alexie's THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN. Share a book written by Judy Blume, an author beloved of girls everywhere yet reviled by many school boards.
Reading challenges us to slip into the shoes and mindsets of others. We try on different attitudes and face mental and physical tests. In the end, we may come to respect those we should hate and see the weaknesses in those we should revere. Reading empowers us, which is why it's dangerous.
I offer you a video in support of Banned Books Week: