At TU Press, we understand the power of books to inform and motivate readers about many issues, including environmental protection. We celebrate the diversity of perspectives that books, whether fiction or nonfiction, can provide.
This Banned Book Week, we urge you to consider the books that have challenged your views or made you see the world differently.
In researching books that have been frequently challenged, I was surprised to find many of my favorite classics, including Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, on the list. I read most of these books in high school, and they all had a way of taking me to a place in history and showing me the common norms and values of that time. Books like The Kite Runner andPersepolis have shown me ways of life from all over the world. The Giver andSlaughterhouse Five made me consider radically different fictional societies and, in turn, think about my own life and world in a new way. In addition, I would argue that titles like Ender’s Game and The Perks of Being a Wallflower are essential coming-of-age stories for most preteens and teens.
Parents and administrators often try to shield children from materials that may not be age appropriate, but banning a book from a library or school district is never the answer. Teachers and parents can talk to children about books that are appropriate for them and how books can offer many points of view. Differing perspectives are essential for students to form their own opinions and develop a well-rounded worldview.
This year, stay informed about challenges to some of your favorite books and challenge censorship of any kind in your community. Celebrate banned books week with TU Press by continuing to read both fiction and nonfiction to broaden your perspective.