Under the bag is one of my favorite novels. It is filled with courage and growth while also exploring the realities of injustice and social standing.
However, not everyone agrees. To Kill a Mockingbird has been among the most banned and challenged books in United States history. When it was initially banned, the reasons included a subjective opinion that it was a “filthy and trashy novel”. Other reasons that persisted for decades after its publication included that it contained “racially and sexually charged themes that are not appropriate for young readers.”
The DePaul University Library and the UCWbL has a stance that books are some of the best teachers. The realities many of these banned books discuss open perspectives and ideas. In the spirit of intellectual freedom, The Library and their partners including the UCWbL; LGBTQ Student Services; The Center for Identity, Inclusion, and Social Change; and the Office of Multicultural Student Success encourages students to stand up for their right to read with various events during the Banned Books Week. One of the most creative events I have ever had the pleasure of attending is Books on the Chopping Block.
I am often ashamed to admit that I often think of banning books as a historical event; occurring only in the sixties and seventies and thinking that we are way past shielding stories from students. The Books on the Chopping Block refreshed my perspective by presenting dramatic readings of 2015’s top ten Banned books. You might be shocked to see how recent these books have been published, and the reasons for banning the books. Among the reasons for banning these top ten books are: Having a religious viewpoint, homosexuality, sexually explicit, and anti- family. The novels presented were,
- Looking For Alaska, by John Green
- Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L James
- I am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
- Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night- Time, by Mark Haddon
- The Holy Bible
- Fun Home, By Alison Bechdel
- Habibi, by Craig Thompson
- Nasreens Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter
- Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
If you have read any of these novels, you may feel like me. The authors on this list that I have had the pleasure of reading taught me so much about creativity, and the realities of the world. I am astonished that they have been restricted for students to explore.
City Lit’s presentation encompassed all the emotions I felt while reading some of these novels. Going from picturing the scenes from these novels in my head to seeing them presented in a dramatic reading was simply euphoric. It brought an awareness of the existence of a community of readers. I encourage all DePaul Students to attend Books on the Chopping Block some time in their DePaul Career.