Book Cencorship and Banning
By Alphonse C.
Once, when I was in first grade, it was library day for my class. While walking through the isles of books, I saw a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I had already heard it at home, but I wanted to read it by myself. When I got up to the librarian’s desk and asked to check out Harry Potter the librarian said that I couldn’t because it was scary and only for older kids. I didn’t understand the concept of book banning and/or censorship then, but this was an example of it. Book banning is violating the constitution and it takes very little to ban a book. All somebody has to do is go to a principal or librarian, file a complaint and hope that there have been enough complaints already filed against that book. The complaints can be almost anything. One woman tried banning Bridge to Terabithia because all books children read should be happy and uplifting. The Harry Potter series has been banned in many places on the grounds that it encourages Satanism, devilry, witchcraft and the creation of cults. In some places books from this series have actually been burned. Because the burners would have to go out and by copies to burn, thus prompting the publishers to print more, it seems rather pointless. The Three Billy Goats Gruff has been banned for excessive violence. Also, almost all of the “classics” are banned.
However, book censorship sometimes is necessary to retain military secrets or other classified information. An example is in Nazi Germany during World War II when a few people tried to give away Nazi military base locations in the form of stories. All of the books containing such information were burned.
Given how many books are banned, it seems like the whole country supports it. However, there are many large organizations trying to stop banning, the most prominent being the ALA. To check whether the majority of people in my class supported banning, I took a survey. The survey consisted of eleven other students and teachers. Seven were completely against banning and four thought it depended on the book. The other possible answers were supporting banning or not caring.
Personally, I am against book banning. I think that if parents don’t want their kids to read a book they should be able to prohibit their own child from reading it, rather than trying to prevent all kids from reading it.