For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, in an early scene one of the residents of the small town interrupts a social gathering to report his concern that the library is offering the book (if memory serves) Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, at which point the new kid in town, foxy Ren, announces that he’s read it, and, yeah, it’s a great book.
Now it isn’t that I was dim, or that I wasn’t paying attention, but I really didn’t know it was possible—or why anyone would want—to ban a book.
Oh, but it got so much worse! I then learned there was a list. And there were lots of books on this list, including one that I’d already read—To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee—and another that was on my current English class’s reading list even—A Separate Peace by John Knowles.
So wait, let me understand this: these books were actually removed from the shelves of certain schools and libraries?
How could that be?
Was I missing something?
The point is, I wasn’t. In fact, up until then, I had no idea how lucky I was to grow up in a house, a school, a world where I never had to miss a thing, thanks to the availability of books and my own freedom of choice to decide which ones I did and didn’t wish to read.
Banning books? That’s almost as crazy as banning, I don’t know, dancing.
So Ren: Thanks, buddy. This one’s for you.
Tell me, friends–do you remember where you were when you learned about banned books?