BY RAEGAN NEUFELD
Books are challenged for a number of reasons: LGBTQIA+ topics, sexual content, violence, language, racism, and more. Challenged books are then at risk of being banned and removed from schools and libraries.
Banned Books Week, a national awareness campaign taking place this week was celebrated on campus by Forsyth Library and Sigma Tau Delta – FHSU’s English student society. On Wednesday, students stopped by the Library’s table in the Union, where they made buttons, played trivia, and shared which banned books they had read.
“The number of books that get challenged each year is at an all-time high right now,” Forsyth Library outreach specialist Brittney Squire said. “Really, they’re being challenged for reasons that make a person or group uncomfortable.”
The trivia game featured at the event listed reasons why a book was banned and gave students two options to guess from. Some of the books used were ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins, ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger, and ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky.
Students also had the chance to be a part of a social media campaign run by Sigma Tau Delta. After writing down which banned books they have read or have been taught, students posed with their signs for a picture. Some of the books shared were ‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry, ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck, and ‘The Adventures of Captain Underpants’ by Dav Pilkey.
According to Squire, the importance of Banned Books Week stems from the ideas of freedom and awareness.
“It’s so important that we can celebrate our freedom to read, so that we can raise awareness about this campaign and about this cause,” she said. “It’s also important to unify the power of stories and impress upon the dangerous nature of censorship.”
More challenged and banned books can be found on the American Library Association website, including the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2021.