October 4, 2016
Congratulations to the winner of our Banned Books Week contest, Carla Silvestri!! Why is it important for YOU to stand up for your right to read? Carla tells us:
"Reading is right that should be included in the unalienable rights of the Constitution. The first amendment allows people to write what they think without the fear of repercussion. Shouldn't it allow citizens to read ALL books? By reading the reader is exposed to new ideas and concepts that they might not have known about before. Censoring what people read is no different than taking away their right of free thought.
In my favorite banned book, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee exposes the unjust racial issue in the south. Reading this book can open reader's eyes to the issues that the African American community faced, the inequality in schools, society and the justice system. The book was banned because racial issues were suppressed in society and white supremacists did not want the issue being wide spread. They did not want people thinking about it too much. When authors like Harper Lee expose an issue it prompts people to take a stand. All banned books in one way or another exposed a flaw in society and the people banning them did not want anything to change. Knowledge is power and if we do not have knowledge we do not have power to change injustice. Reading is what lead to the Founding Fathers to revolt against King George III. Common Sense and other documents spurred the revolution in 1776. There are numerous other examples of writings that prompted change in society. Martin Luther's "95 Theses" started the Protestant Reformation, and Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, another banned book, exposed the hardships in the meatpacking industry.
A quote by Laurie Halse Anderson sums up the importance of our right to read, "Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance." We must fight for our right to read to be free of fear and and ignorance."
Thanks for participating, Carla!