Most commonly, banned books include topics such as LGBTQIA, race/racism, puberty, feminism, foul language, sexual innuendos, etc, across the nation.
Books by Judy Bloom, JK Rowling, John Greene, and Isabel Allende have been banned in North Carolina for including “inappropriate topics.”
Why are these Books Banned?
The argument for banning these books is mainly from parents wanting to “protect” their children from inappropriate ideas and controversial topics. Parents have accused some of these books of containing “pornographic” and “obscene” material.
Too Dangerous for Children
One of the books that have been banned in North Carolina this year is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a classic children’s novel generally about magic and wizardry. This book is the first book in the Harry Potter series and introduces the main characters, villains, and plot.
The book is about a boy wizard named Harry Potter and his friends who defeat the evil wizard, Voldemort.
The book takes place at Hogwarts, a school of witchcraft and wizardry where the students are taught about all aspects of magic.
There is a debate between some parents and North Carolina counties on whether or not Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone should remain on school shelves. Accusing the book of containing “Anti-family, satanism, and violence,” parents started petitioning for its removal.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a beloved children’s book adored by millions nationwide; however, it is banned in the states of Connecticut, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Not Suited for Adolescents
Another book facing removal from school libraries is Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Bloom
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. illustrates the thoughts and problems that come with religion, puberty, and menstruation as a preteen girl.
In the book, Margaret and her friends steal Playboy magazines and chant mantras such as “We must, we must, we must increase our bust!” Margaret grows up without religion and therefore scorns and doesn’t appreciate religious traditions.
Due to these topics, parents have begun petitioning to remove this book from elementary school libraries. The book has already been banned in counties in the states of Alabama and Arizona and is facing removal from libraries in Wisconsin and New Jersey.
Despite the movie being filmed in Charlotte, the book is challenged and censored in NC.
Books that Address Controversial Topics
One of the most frequently banned books in the South is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
Going in-depth on the effects of racism and police violence in a typical Black girl’s life, the book directly addresses white supremacy and the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the book, the main character Starr Carter lives in a poor neighborhood where crime is common but goes to a prestigious private school. Starr Carter witnesses the brutal death of her childhood best friend and has to deal with racism and microaggressions, even from those she thought to be friends.
Accused of preaching anti-police messages and including foul language (the “N” word), the book has been banned in the states of Texas and South Carolina. It faces banning from multiple other southern states.
Books that are Classics
George Orwell has written a multitude of classic novels that are commonly read throughout middle and high school. However many of his books including 1984 and Animal Farm are some of the most frequently banned books in the United States.
1984 is about Winston who is part of “the party” which goes directly against the tyrannical party–Big Brother– which rules his world. In the book, Winston tries to free his mind from Big Brother and ends up meeting a woman named Julia who he eventually falls in love with. Winston and Julia are eventually caught and “broken” by Big Brother and betray each other.
Animal Farm is about two pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, who rebel against their humans and take over their farm to create their own government. The pigs are at the top of the political hierarchy and rule over the farm. After a couple of years, Snowball has been kicked out, and the remaining pigs are unable to be distinguished from the humans they originally revolted against.
Banned and Challenged in multiple states, 1984 and Animal Farm are said to promote communism and contain sexually explicit content. While these books have a few scenes that are provocative, they are classics that are loved and enjoyed in homes and classrooms nationwide.
The continuous banishment of books that are being misunderstood is unacceptable.
Books are meant to be enjoyed and appreciated whether it be in a home or school setting. Taking certain scenes, topics, words, statements, or themes out of context in books can create misunderstandings.
Children’s books and authors should not be taken off of school shelves, which deprives children of their stories because of topics such as witchcraft or menstruation. Topics children old enough to read at that level should already know about.
School is where children live the majority of their developmental life and reading is an incredible and important way to expand their knowledge and imagination. They should not be deprived of books like Harry Potter and Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret for topics are technically controversial. School is where students learn and grow, how are students meant to create their own ideas and opinions if they are not exposed to topics popular in everyday life.
Hi, my name is Valentina Fernandez! I’m a junior at LRHS. I love traveling, being with friends, and Halloween.