The Lightning Letter

The Student News Site of James Lawson High School


The Lightning Letter

The Lightning Letter

Why I Read Banned Books

And You Should Too!

Picking up a new book in the store is a wonderful feeling. For myself 2 years ago, picking up a banned book made my life more interesting. Not only was there the exciting feeling of having something I shouldn’t, but I was was learning about things from all of these new and different perspectives.

The book “This Is Where It Ends’ ‘ is a banned book that covers 4 different people’s recounting of being in a school shooting and how they all were connected to the shooter. For me, this book was enjoyable while bringing to me the harsh reality that this is people’s situation all around the world with the rising issue of school shootings in America. This really helped me understand the issues people go through and that it’s a bigger problem than I originally perceived it.

Young adults and teens look for banned books to show them representation that usually doesn’t happen or topics that the world is too afraid to talk about to help them better understand themselves and other people. Young adults should have the right to read banned books to help them feel understood and empathize with others without the conservative party’s views fighting to ban them.

Books with African-American main characters and LGBTQ+ characters are being challenged and in most cases banned. For example, the book “The Hate You Give” by Angie Thomas, discusses the challenges of being a young African-American woman in society, and the racism she experiences every day is banned. By banning this book the government takes away from young African Americans who are going through the same experience and takes away the opportunity for others to learn from this and do better.

Another book that is banned in some states and currently being challenged in others is “Heartstopper ” by Alice Oseman. This book follows 2 young men’s journey to find themselves and their sexuality. Both of the main characters are a part of the LGBTQ+ community with one being gay and the other being bisexual. With states banning this book series, they take away the opportunity for young LGBTQ+ teens to look for a place to find themselves and have the courage to embrace who they are and what they stand for.

Banning books with representation shuts down people’s voices and the opportunity to feel heard and understood.
The representation in these banned books not only allows teens to feel heard but also to understand others’ experiences and empathize with them. Being able to empathize with someone is an important skill in order to connect with someone. When reading these books about representation you learn what it is like for people with different sexualities, races, and lifestyles than you. When reading a book the reader can understand the experiences of others easier causing them to empathize with other people in real life.

Conservative parties are trying to ban these books because they feel the child’s brain is too underdeveloped to understand these subjects and make the right decision about them. Despite banned books having more benefits, teens should have the right to make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes. With banned books making it easier to empathize with people the conservative parties don’t want their children and the youth as a whole to accept the LGBTQ+ community and other races but teens should have the right to support other people in their community and be a good person to all no matter the differences they might share. Actively working to ban these books because of their own narrow-minded views shouldn’t stand in the way of children wanting to learn and experience these books.

Teens and young adults should have the right to read banned books because they help people empathize with each other and can help them find themselves and feel understood. Students should have the right to make decisions to better understand people and themselves on their own through literature.

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