The banning or censorship of books in America is a very controversial topic. “A banned book is one that has been removed from the shelves of a library, bookstore, or classroom because of its controversial content.” (Lombardi). There are many controversial topics that may cause a book to be banned. Some of these topics include language, diversity and religion. Many books for younger audiences that have been removed from classrooms have topics that “your kid has encountered before or will soon.”(McMahon) Young readers should be allowed t read censored books, although some readers may not be mature enough to read these books, there is little proof that it will affect a readers life negatively.
The first amendment protects the freedom of the citizens of America stating “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”(First Amendment of The Constitution) This amendment was made so that the government has no control of a person’s religion or their freedom of speech to be able to express how they feel. This amendment should be protected because everyone deserves to be heard. No one should have the right to take away someone’s freedom of speech and opinion on what they believe. This amendment may be challenged because of banning books. Starting in the 20th century people who banned books started to realize that banning books might be going against the first amendment of the Constitution. “… how it is defined and how that definition relates to the First Amendment- have been at the heart of banned-book controversies throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.(Brady)
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Books are banned for many reasons and usually come from parents, groups school board members and individuals. (McMahon) In 2015 the top then banned books were banned for LGBT characters, religious characters and sexual content, (Begley) In public libraries the ALA found that the amount of books challenged were 311 in 2014 and dropped to 275 in 2015 which proved to the association that less people were reporting books. (Begley) One library in Brooklyn moves challenged items to a smaller area so it “remains in the lirarys collection, although it is harder to find.(Cowan)
In the book Deadline by Chris Crutcher, a senior in high school named ben Wolf is diagnosed with a rare blood disease and is given at most a year to live. He decides not to tell any of his family or friends about this disease and instead decides to live his life to the fullest. This book was banned in 2009 in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky for saying “… these books have no value…” (Censorship- Author & Loudmouth). Other reasons this book may be banned or censored is because of its use of language, religion and talk about sex and rape.
The banning of Deadline can be debated on. The book does include some graphic scenes but it also can be used to educate the reader. This book will expose a reader on what may really be happening in someone’s personal life. On page 125 of this book the reader learns something very personal about one of the characters named Dallas. She and Ben had just got ot her house and are planning on having a sleepover. While together she tells Ben that she had been raped by her uncle when she was thirteen saying “’He… He got to me.’”(Crutcher)Later on in the book we also find out that Dallas’ little brother, Joe Henry isn’t actually her brother. She tells Ben that Joe Henry is her son. She expects Ben to get up and leave but instead he stays to comfort her(Crutcher 185) This can be shown as an example for the reader that sometimes you don’t always know how a person may really be feeling. Sometimes there’s more to them than meets the eyes and you should always be there to support them no matter what.