In April, someone asked the Toronto Public Library to ban the children’s book Hop on Pop because he or she thought it encouraged children to use violence against their fathers. This isn’t the first time someone has wanted a book to be banned, and it won’t be the last.
Some of these requests have been granted. Just last year, a library in Florida banned the book Fifty Shades of Grey due to its sexual content. Also, Frankenstein was banned in South Africa in 1955 because some thought that some of its material was obscene and indecent. Some people can see the rationale behind these requests, but other requests are just plain silly.
For example, when the Harry Potter books first came out, people wanted to get rid of them because they believed that they were teaching kids witchcraft. What these people have to remember is that it is fiction, not real.
There is actually one ban that I totally agreed with. It involved the book Rage, which was written by my favourite author, Stephen King. It’s about a disturbed teenage boy who brings a gun to school and holds an entire classroom hostage.
The book was released in 1977, and has been linked to several school shootings in the 1980s and ’90s, with police officers finding the book in some of the shooters’ belongings. They concluded that the shooters were inspired by the book to do what they did.
King himself felt uncomfortable about this and allowed his book to fall out of print. I don’t blame the author for this as he apparently didn’t want to see anyone else get hurt.
On the other side of the coin, there is one requested ban that I find to be ridiculous, and that is people trying to remove To Kill a Mockingbird from high schools.
When I first heard about this, I thought that it was because of all the racial slurs in the book, but then I found out that it was because people were upset due to it having the word “whore” in it.
Out of all of the profound words in the book, it is “whore” that they’re upset about?
High schools shouldn’t ban the book because I think that everyone should have a right to read it because it teaches you a good lesson about how you shouldn’t judge people by the way they look.
Some of these bans are reasonable, but some are just uncalled for. I believe that people should stop being so nitpicky and just enjoy the books for what they are because that is the whole reason authors write them in the first place.