This is a blog about books. How we read them, and why they get banned.

This is a blog about books:

How we read them, and why they get banned.

In America, we’re taught both in-school and out to be passive observers to our stories.  We’re swept along by the charm of the characters, our anticipation for the next shocking twist, and the thrill of the events on display. But, we rarely spare a thought for anything past plot, and personal response – increasingly, negative reactions to “foul language” or uncomfortable historical realities, as well as fear of a changing world.

It is therefore tragic when such superficial readings are effectively supported by organizations like school boards and libraries. With their influence, institutions like these have the ability to censor, as well as restrict public access to, books and other media. All too often, individuals who read in this limited fashion dictate what qualifies as appropriate on a daily basis.

And this material is banned in the name of “protecting” young students. But, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison hits the proverbial nail on the head with her observation that this “elementary kind of censorship [is] designed to appease adults rather than educate children.”

Books have the ability to give us a glimpse into lives and experiences other than our own. In doing so, they highlight our common humanity. Books can also shed light on complex issues such as poverty, domestic violence, colonialism, and prejudice.  And they open the door to constructive conversation about these concerns.

This is a blog about books and how we read them. It’s about providing the tools and context you need to gain a deeper understanding of the world others write about.

But it’s also about books that have been banned. If at some point in time, a book has been deemed inappropriate for a school, library, or bookstore, we’re going to give it the in-depth reading it was denied in the past – the thoughtful reading it deserves.

Because art may be subjective, but our ability to see it shouldn’t be.

Expect to see an in-depth reading of a banned book on a monthly basis.
To see the latest post, click here.
Or visit the archive for more.

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Mary Bartling  –  to see a bio, click here.