Books Unbanned: One teen's response


Teens around the country have been sending messages to our Intellectual Freedom Teen Council requesting a free, out-of-state ecard to access books that may be banned or challenged in their state. K. Pointer submitted this one last week. 
Find out more about Books Unbanned here

For me, the freedom to read is crucial. Reading has always been a way for me to explore and experience the world. I have learned so much about myself and the human experience through books. The fact that book banning is still present today honestly makes me sick. Through many challenged books I have learned things that I would never have known. 

Through books, I have learned about racial issues in our country that I had never seen before. With books like To Kill a Mockingbird and others like it, I learned about the prejudice towards people of color in the United States. These books bring light to issues I never even knew existed. After reading books that highlight the experience of people of color, I have become very passionate about equal rights. Growing up and going to schools with major percentages of Latin American students made reading about immigration into the United States and the challenges that Latin American immigrants face eye-opening. Reading these books helped me understand the experiences of my classmates and the history of my community. With my freedom to read, I can learn about the fight for equality and the challenges people face based on ethnicity and skin color without restriction. 

Books that discuss the LGBTQ+ experience are so important to our youth. As a young queer individual myself, seeing books with queer people helped me understand that I wasn’t alone in what I was feeling and that I can perservere through hardships that I might face because of my sexuality or gender expression. The idea that books like Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe and This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson were banned because of queer content makes me so sad. Queer youth should have books that they can relate to and learn from. 

I love reading about many things, especially the human experience. I truly believe in my freedom to read whatever I choose. I want to learn about different ideas, no matter what anyone says, because it is my right. Banning books is going backwards from the development of humanity. History is filled with the restriction of written ideas from the Catholic Church and the Council of Trent creating the Index of Forbidden Books to the Nazis burning books. Just like in Fahrenheit 451, books are a powerful source of ideas and we can't let our society reach that level of censorship as depicted in the novel. I'm so glad that there are places trying to preserve the freedom of ideas and reading. I would love an opportunity to be able to learn without restriction. 


This blog post reflects the opinions of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of Brooklyn Public Library.


Houston Kristine

I am so proud of you, Kate!! I love how passionate you are about equality and understanding the differences in the human experience. Keep reading & growing!! ❤️❤️ -Kristine
Fri, Sep 2 2022 6:08 am Permalink

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