Censorship in books deprives the world of magic


Infographic by Emily LaPlant

Examples of books that have been banned in the past. Books are often banned or challenged for sexually explicit content, language, or the book is unfit for an age group.

Books are written for people to enjoy and be engulfed in a new world. With every flip of the page and motion of the eye, the story in front of the reader comes alive. Once the book is finished and placed back on the shelves, the realm within it remains intact and waits for the next reader to open it up. When books are taken off the shelf for good that means destroying mythical realms and coming of age stories that help shape countless generations.

Censoring books may seem like something of the past, but the banning of literature happens more often in today’s libraries than people may think. Modern titles such as “Looking for Alaska” by John Green, “13 Reasons Why” by Jay Asher, and “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thompson were among the top challenged books in 2018 according to the ALA Office for intellectual freedom.

Books are often challenged for a number of reasons: sexual content, explicit/offensive language, or it is unsuited for a certain age group. Although some people believe these are reasonable standards and guidelines in order to remove books, there is no such thing as a good reason to remove literature from the public. No one should be given the power to dictate whether a book belongs on the shelf or not because it does not please their personal agenda.

Literature that was once seen as inappropriate is now taught in the English curriculum and the authors are said to be geniuses. For example, classic novels such as “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Grapes of Wrath” and even the more modern “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling were once all deemed unacceptable and removed from the shelves or even burned. In a New Mexico account, the “Harry Potter” series was burned for being “satanic” and now millions of people, including residents of New Mexico, picture themselves roaming the halls of Hogwarts with their two best friends by their side.

By removing such books future generations are being deprived of the magic that we all experienced growing up. Whether it was a wizarding world or falling down a rabbit hole, we all lived within the pages of our favorite book. When books are removed from shelves, we risk the possibility of the youth missing out on their own adventures. 

Stories allow us all to become pirates, princesses, sorcerers, and most importantly kids once again. I can not imagine a world where magical creatures and romance cannot be found in the crisp pages of a book.