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Books are my magic carpet that transport me to places I’ve never been and introduced me to characters I did not know. I cannot imagine my world without books. Like air and water, reading has been an essential constant in my life. Further, there has never been a time in my life when I was told I could not read a book, or that a book was made deliberately unavailable to me. NEVER I have not liked everything that I have read. Nor have I agreed with everything. I haven’t always finished a book that I started — only as I have gotten older, I’ve given myself permission to not finish it if I don’t like it. I don’t even understand the concept of banning a book. Knowing that school libraries are attempting to, and successfully censoring books is a slippery slope that historically has never ended well. Have the book-banners ever read the books they oppose? Or did they just read the book’s jacket? Or did they just read certain passages that were considered offensive? Of course, a parent has the right to prevent their child from reading a book that may not be appropriate for them. Hopefully they have read the book in its entirety, before making that decision. The point here is the decision is for THEIR child. My response to this nonsense was to join a banned-book book club. The selections are mainly banned in middle and high schools. My general conclusion regarding all of them is to ask, “why are these books banned?” Some are classics that I read many years ago. Some are young adult books. I even read a graphic novel (I didn’t even know what that was!). This column is for a brief review of the banned books that I have read. Maybe it will inspire you to pick one up. If you do, please share your thoughts about it. And feel free to suggest a title too. After all, if it is banned, I want to read it.

Banned or Challenged

The term banned books must be differentiated from challenged books as these are two different actions and outcomes. “A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials based...

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Out of Darkness

Out of Darkness is a poignant and beautifully written historical novel, authored by Ashley Hope Perez. She speaks of love and relationships, racism and racial violence while also telling...

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