Kendra L. Montana

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

In this letter I will be addressing the concept of banning books. Many people ban books to maintain a child's innocence. Those who disagree with this concept believe children need to experience things through books in order to know how to deal with them.

November 2, 2016

Dear Mr. or Mrs. President,

I would like to take a minute of your time to address the concept of banning books. Where the Wild Things Are, Winnie the Pooh, James in the Giant Peach, all the novels we grew up, children today are unable to read. These novels are being challenged at an elementary and middle school level causing teenagers nowadays to be pulled into the virtual world of technology.

A main reason books are banned, is to protect people from discrimination and violent messages. Parents and educators become concerned about a child’s salubriousness, when said child has been assigned reading a book with profanity, violence, magic, and fictitious lands. Banning certain pieces of literature helps with preventing minors from being exposed to mature and inappropriate content. Reading these types of novels may leave a negative effect on them as they continue growing up.

On the other hand, banning books prevents children from experiencing the creativity that past generations have been able to. Young minds need to comprehend the ideas and beliefs in banned books in order to grow. They need to read these pieces of literature in order to form their own beliefs on topics, not just what you and I believe. I believe banning novels rebuts the First Amendment which proclaims, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment or religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Banning books censors an author's important message and is essentially violating the author's freedom of speech. Many pieces of literature can help give solutions to children struggling with the issues discussed in the books. Books are considered the greatest teacher, and taking them away restricts students from learning and understanding problems of the real world.

I believe that there is a solution to this dilemma. In Elementary schools, I would ban pieces of literature about sex and mature content. But do not ban things that have a good message behind them. For instance, if a book has witchcraft or fictitious characters, let the children read them. Young minds need imagination to become amazing adults. Without imagination we wouldn’t have half the stuff we do today. Many children have unhealthy lives at home, and if a novel has a character going through the same thing, the child can learn how to cope through the novel. Don’t ban books in high school. Most teens will find ways around the banning and still get their hands on the books. As a senior in high school, when a teacher tells me not to read a certain piece of literature, it just causes me to want to read it even more. So I believe the best thing we can do, is to actually read the books on the banned list and determine if their message is one we should teach to children.


Kendra L.

Billings Public Library

TE - Billings, MT

TE - Billings, MT

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