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I just read an article at Care2.com entitled “Student Runs Secret Banned Books Library from Locker” which needs no explanation. I, for one, could go hours ranting about this one. Once in high school I had an English teacher who passed out a list of past and present books that had been banned. This list included The Wizard of Oz, The Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, and The Great Gatsby! I remember being horrified and asked myself what could possibly have been in these books so subversive that we, the American reading public had to be protected. My horror turned to anger and abhorrence when I discovered that my school library had banned all Judy Blume books which recount tastefully and poignantly the concerns of adolescent girls. I decided right then and there to embark on my own personal crusade to read every book on that list.
That was the extent of my militancy and I have to say my interest flagged after a while because many of the books didn’t pique my interest enough. So when I read this article describing a Catholic school student’s subversive library I was thrilled. Here is a kid who is doing something about banned books that makes a difference! In the article the reasons for the school’s banning such books as Paradise Lost and The Canterbury Tales are based in religion, a premise I find disconcerting as it suggests aggressive control and apparently so does Nekochan (the student’s preferred avatar name).
Nekochan states that she now has a locker filled with 62 banned books which she loans out to fellow interested students and realizes that she is at risk for getting into trouble. But her belief that she is right in her stance encourages her to continue her rebellious activity despite the danger of getting caught.
Continue, Nekochan, to “Fight the Power!! Knowledge is a gift and we should be allowed to make our own choices about what we should and should not read.