My experience in the classroom and with online teacher forums has led me to question the recent pushback from families and stakeholders over curriculum. While it may seem like a new trend that has today’s educators hyper-vigilant about what they post and send home, it is far from a new experience in the profession.
In fact, censorship of reading material has been around for thousands of years. And it’s been in the classroom since the printing press brought us the ability to read mass-produced literature.
Covid and distance learning brought curriculum to more eyes than ever before. That, coupled with social media has led to a recent increase in public inquisitions. But, this is not a new battle for society. We’ve been banning books and censoring author’s voices since the written word began to exist. Although educators may feel under attack during this time, we also must remember that in order for an individual to grow they must question.
I’m all for healthy challenges that lead to growth and a better understanding of our world. I also see tremendous value in challenging the censorship and reading the material that others try to ban.
Today, as we observe national Banned Books Week, I wanted to celebrate some of my favorite books from the list. Many of these books have shaped our society and brought to the surface the problems plaguing our world. They’ve caused us to think critically or in some cases, just to escape reality for a while to a land of what if?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
For a more extensive list of Banned Books in the US, check out this Barnes and Noble list, and remember that when society questions printed material it often brings to light productive conversations about topics of controversey–and that’s where the growth happens.
The Ameri Brit Mom