Welcome Back Albrightians!! We here at the Gingrich Library hope you had a great summer! The Gingrich Library Marketing Assistant Abby Gray was asked to write a post about what banned books mean to her. The Gingrich Library will be hosting its 7th Annual Banned Books Read Out on Wednesday, September 26th at 12:45pm. Everyone is invited to come out and read from their favorite banned book and enjoy soft pretzels!
Now for Abby’s post take it away Abby!
Banned books are a hot button topic in today’s literary world. With classic literary assignments like Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, and To Kill a Mockingbird making the list almost every year, I wonder why we live in a world where people want to limit what young minds are reading. Now, I want to make a disclaimer, my mom is a librarian and so I am used to reading anything and everything (for Pete’s sake, I read Harry Potter 1-6 in second grade). Banned books are nothing new to me, I practically jumped at the opportunity to take ENG236 (Banned Books in Literature) the summer between my freshman and sophomore years. This class made me examine the history of censorship and banning books and create my own theories and opinions about books that were banned/censored/challenged.
I really feel that several of the books that end up on this (unfortunately massive) list are books whose content is misunderstood.
This year’s Banned Books (BB) week is September 23-28, 2018. My challenge to you, reader, is to find 2 books on the BB list that you read when you were younger. Take those two books and think about what you learned from that book.
Book 1: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor wrote the Alice series. This is a depiction of a young girl’s journey through middle school all the way through her adulthood. I started reading these books when I was in fourth grade and from the very first page, I found a friend. Alice is awkward, funny, anxious, and all-around relatable. Re-reading this series as I got older made me feel confident in how I approach my life and choices.
Book 2: Go Ask Alice by Anonymous changed my life. I read this book for the first time in middle school. Since then, I’ve only been able to re-read it a handful of times because of how emotionally charged it is. This book (written diary-style) is meant to depict one young girl’s venture into drug addiction. Even though this book was published in 1971, it still speaks to audiences today. This book started a slew of similarly written novels depicting different issues that teens may be wondering about, from anorexia to sex work. While these are very difficult topics, they are so important to discuss. Reading this book and ones like it when I was young definitely helped me work through some of the struggles I saw my friends facing.
The Gingrich Library is holding their annual read out on Wednesday September 26th. Come out, read a banned book, enjoy some soft pretzels.
Thank you and take care,