Banned Books Week: The Perks of Being a Wallflower and To Kill A Mockingbird

This post is part of a series for Banned Books Week 2014 and some information may be outdated. Questions? Please reach out to us online or at the Information Desk.

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Madison Taylor, Circulation Services Student Assistant

What is your favorite Banned Book?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky.

Why is Banned Books Week important to you?

Banned Books Week is important to me because I’m an avid reader, and a lot of the books that have made a huge impact on my life are ones frequently challenged or banned. I think it’s important to get exposure to a wide variety of issues, even controversial ones, and books are a good way to do that.

Looking over the American Library Association’s lists of banned and challenged books, which have you found the most surprising and why?

I looked at the list of the most banned books in 2013 and I find it really sad that books like The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Looking for Alaska made that list. Those books detail situations that many highschoolers go through in one way or another and it’s sad that some kids can’t get access to those books in their school libraries.

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Katherine Emery, Archives & Special Collections Student Assistant

What is your favorite Banned Book?

My favorite banned book, and for that matter, favorite book in general, is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I can remember first reading this book in the 5th grade and automatically being drawn to every detail. I have read this book a total of 8 times since then, and every time something new seems to speak to me in such a way that applies directly to whatever place I am in my life. I am convinced that To Kill A Mockingbird has magic in its pages and I think everyone should have the privilege to experience it for themselves.

Why is Banned Books Week important to you?

Banned Books Week is important to me because it reminds me of how lucky I am to be able to read whatever I want to read. Books are meant to enlighten and educate us and I find it disheartening to know some of the greatest and truest books out there are highlighted in such a negative light.

Looking over the American Library Association’s lists of banned and challenged books, which have you found the most surprising and why?

To be honest, all of them. I think that each book in its own right was written for a reason and with an idea in mind that its words might speak to someone in such a way that changes them. No book is more “banned” worthy than another.