Ironically Named Book Faces Banning Challenge After Seven Years

Recently, a Florida school board has moved to ban a book seven years after it was published, sparking controversy and discussion within the community.

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Ban This Book being banned for its content.

Ban This Book tells the story of a young girl who fights against the banning of her favorite book from her school library. The novel explores themes of censorship, the power of literature, and the importance of standing up for one’s beliefs. Ironically, the themes the book champions are being played out in real life with its recent ban.

The Decision to Ban

The decision came after a parent expressed concerns about the content. The Florida school board cited reasons including language and themes deemed inappropriate for young readers. However, many in the community argue that the book is a valuable tool for teaching children about the importance of free speech and the dangers of censorship. If children see controversial topics being shut out and not discussed they won’t become free thinkers.

Book cover for Ban This Book by Alan Gratz featuring three children holding books in a library.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP

The reaction from the community has been mixed. Some parents and educators support the ban, believing they are protecting children from unsuitable material. Others, however, feel that the ban is a direct attack on intellectual freedom and does a disservice to students who can benefit from the book’s message. The Florida school district has overruled its review committee, which suggested that the school district keep the book on its shelves.

Author’s Response

Alan Gratz, the author of Ban This Book, has also weighed in on the controversy. In a statement, Gratz expressed disappointment over the ban but reaffirmed his belief in the power of literature to inspire and educate. He emphasized that the book was written to encourage young readers to think for themselves and to understand the importance of free speech. If a young reader is curious about a topic, they shouldn’t be denied access to information based on the principles of the generation that came before. Banning a book only prevents further discussion and growth within that book’s topic.

A kid hiding behind a book they were reading.
IMAGE VIA CANVA

The ban has prompted discussions about literature’s role in education and censorship’s boundaries. Some advocacy groups are calling for the school board to reconsider its decision, while others plan to hold events to raise awareness about the issue. The banning of Ban This Book comes after book banning spiked up to 65% in 2023 compared to the year before. Half of the banned books were written by or about people of color and those from LGBTQ+ communities.

This incident is part of a larger trend of book bans and challenges in schools across the country, sparking a national debate on how to balance protecting young readers while preserving their right to access diverse perspectives through literature. It seems the solution is to push the conversation about these subjects away and discourage any healthy discussion about anything remotely controversial.


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