Kurt Vonnegut and Sarah Ockler removed from library shelves
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  • Posted:
  • July 26, 2011

There’s an interesting article here  about a school library removing Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler from their shelves. There was an attempt to get Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson removed as well. Apparently the books are not, in their eyes, curriculum friendly.

I have not read any of them, but now I feel I must. I assure you that challenging a book, or in fact making any noise about a book what-so-ever, is the fastest way to get a teenager to read said book. Congratulations, Wesley Scroggins (the originator of the complaint), you just ensured that every single high school student at Republic High will be reading these three books. How’s that for  your campaign to keep them out of students hands?

This makes me feel like I need to order up two dozen copies of each of these titles for the store I work in and write suggestion cards on them. “There are people who don’t want you to read this book.” That should do it. Instant best seller. Fool. The second anything becomes taboo is the moment everyone wants it.

Lest there be any mistaking my point, or anyone thinking me joking and reactionary, allow me to be thoroughly clear – I am against any institution that will ban any kind of reading material or prevent any flow of information from reaching anyone… child, adult, it doesn’t matter. Very little makes me angrier than this. It’s wrong and there is no reason for it. Books are information and entertainment and should be allowed free access by anyone regardless of topic, questionable content, or quality. There is no reason that we need to police and censor the printed word.

Thoughts? Anyone want to do a read-a-thon, or should I save this for September when Banned Book Week comes about?

– BP

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