Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Practice of Banning Books Still Going Strong

Just in time for Banned Books Week in the United States, there have been attempts to both ban books from school libraries and remove them from reading lists. Recently, Ohio Board of Education President Debe Terhar has stated that she wants to have The Bluest Eye, written by Toni Morrison, removed from state guidelines for schools. This book was also targeted in Alabama at the end of August when Senator Bill Holtzclaw sought to have Morrison's novel removed from school reading lists. Additionally, he has offered support to have the book removed from school libraries. He describes the book as "completely objectionable, from language to the content".

Even more distressing is the recent ruling by the Randolph County board in North Carolina to ban the Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison from school libraries, not just from reading lists. Regarding the novel, board member Gary Mason said that he "didn't find any literary value".

Books are great avenues for creating discussion about important issues. Who, if anyone, should be able to tell you what you can and cannot read? Sound off in the comments.

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