A Banned Book is one that has been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. Many students are not aware of censorship. By displaying books that have been challenged with removal, students visiting the school library peruse books on display and discover the reasons behind the challenges. Students not only gain an appreciation for being able to choose what to read, but can engage Ms. Brandes in a conversation about freedom of speech and its protection under the First Amendment.
The books featured during Banned Books Week (September 27 – Oct. 3) have all been beset with requests to be remove from libraries for one reason or another. Part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read. Some banned or challenged books include The Hunger Games trilogy, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and even E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web.
To celebrate the American Library Association’s Banned Books week, Friendship’s Ms. Brandes created a height chart similar to those used in criminal profiles. She left the line-up poster in the hall so students could take a selfie with a banned book. Reading teacher Angela Eddy is profiled in the photograph below reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. To find out more about banned or challenged books, visit http://www.ala.org/search/site/banned%20books.
By: Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES Learning Resources