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Wed, Sept. 18

School classics appear on list of banned books

Teacher’s Assistant Atalia Hernandez, left, a junior at Bradshaw Mountain High School, and Library Assistant Amanda Hiler find something of interest to read from a cartful of books that appear on high school reading lists. Some adults object to language or content in classics such as The Hobbit or A Separate Peace.<br>
Trib Photo/Sue Tone

Teacher’s Assistant Atalia Hernandez, left, a junior at Bradshaw Mountain High School, and Library Assistant Amanda Hiler find something of interest to read from a cartful of books that appear on high school reading lists. Some adults object to language or content in classics such as The Hobbit or A Separate Peace.<br> Trib Photo/Sue Tone

Since 1982, the last week in September celebrates Banned Books Week and the First Amendment by promoting the freedom to choose what one reads even if someone else finds the book unorthodox, unpopular or objectionable.

At Bradshaw Mountain High School, the books are flying off the Banned Books Cart, said Library Assistant Amanda Hiler.

"It's magical to see. They're checking it out and asking, 'Why would this book be challenged?'" Hiler said Wednesday morning.

Half of the school's literary book sets would be banned if it weren't for people who stand up and speak out against restrictions on literature, she added.

At Glassford Hill Middle School, Library Assistant Ann Carey explains to every classroom that enters the library what Banned Books Week is all about.

"I reinforce the First Amendment rights for students to have the opportunity to read and not to censor," Carey said.

Some books still need a teacher's or parent's permission to check out; those books are kept inside the office and include Cut (about self-mutilation), Give a Guy a Gun (about Columbine), and Silent to the Bone (about child abuse), Carey said.

Sometimes all the encouragement a student needs is to wonder, "What's wrong with this book?"

More than 1,000 books have been challenged since 1982. According to the American Library Association, the top 10 challenges in 2009 include:

• ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle.

• And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.

• The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky.

• To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.

• Twilight (series), by Stephanie Meyer.

• Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger.

• My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult.

• The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler.

• The Color Purple, by Alice Walker.

• The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier.

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