Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

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February 24, 2024

Banned Books Week Celebration

While many of us remember having to read books such as The Catcher and The Rye in our lives, many of us don’t realize the privilege it was to be able to read such a book. You see, while The Catcher and The Rye is one of the most read books for most people in our country, it is actually one of the most famously banned. There have been a multitude of incidents where people have tried to re-ban the book in our past since it’s original ban. according to, in 2004 a mother tried to have it banned at a high school wanting students to read a book with better morals as well as when John Lennon was assassinated since his killer had an unhealthy obsession with the book. The Catcher and The Rye has been under fire for quite some time, however it is not alone.
Just a handful of books you may know about being banned at some point are Brave New World, The Grapes of Wrath, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and even the Scarlet Letter. Many of these books have made a profound difference on society, even if for some of you it was just the book that took up days of your young adult lives. However, they are all important and strong books that everyone should read if they get the chance and never should have been banned. Yet, they were banned and that is part of the reason that we have this celebratory week known as Banned Book Week.
Banned Book Week is a time to look back and realize the contribution of such great authors that people have tried to censor for one reason or another. When it comes to free speech that should include all forms, no matter how controversial it is. Imagine if growing up you never heard of such stories as the Diary of Anne Frank or if we were not taught of the Trail of Tears due to it’s disgusting background on early America’s decisions towards Native Americans. Just because something is controversial does not mean it should be silenced, it means that it needs to be discussed.
As we grow older many people want to shelter their children from some of the horrors and wrong doings of the world, and it’s understandable. There is a part of us that wants to deny the dark past of our ancestors or avoid the controversial topics of today because they are hard to deal with, however, they are important and that is the biggest reason we have this week. Banned Books Week is a celebration of readings that we might have lost out on the opportunity to have. A chance to look at the things we could have been banned from learning about, so next time you remember reading the Scarlet Letter or The Catcher and The Rye, realize it was a privilege that you were able to read that not a curse. All Books are important, and so is our freedom to read them no matter what it’s contents are.
Griffin Gletty

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Banned Books Week Celebration