Banning Books

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Should books be banned? In the academic curricula across the country, many restrictions limit what is taught in classrooms regarding the LGBTQ community, which imposes a concerning impact on young students in today’s society. This form of censorship has sparked a debate recently, as American libraries and schools exclude famous titles nearly every day. Recently, six LGBTQ+-centered books were requested to be banned from the Glen Ridge Public Library in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. As of February 8, the library trustee board voted to keep the books in the library.

Many individuals can use these books as a guide to knowing themselves, and without access to these materials, it could be challenging to understand oneself better. School districts undoubtedly vary from each other, with some schools including these books and others not. It is important to note that many parents play a significant role in the issue of book banning. Some aim to restrict the access of these books to their children and have requested these titles be banned from local libraries as well. 

Some publications nationally banned across America relate to themes of sexuality and racism. According to CBS News’s “Top 50 Banned Books in America” list, the most challenged book is Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe, featuring her journey through gender and sexual identification. Parents and the media question the book for its explicit illustrations. In addition, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a semi-autobiographical novel relating to author Sherman Alexie’s experience as a Native American. This book  is banned for its use of racial slurs and other instances regarding race. Another notable book banned for its racism is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, following the life of Jean Louise Finch, who narrates her experience living in Maycomb county during the 1930s. While some of these books are still in academic curricula, some states have banned them across school districts and libraries.

The debate about book banning continues to be an issue that affects individuals everywhere, every day.