Sophomores read banned books

Forever and Fahrenheit are two banned books from the unit. Photo credit: Lizbeth Marquez

By Katia Gomez ’17 and Lizbeth Marquez ’17


At Pritzker, the sophomore teachers each year at the start of the week on Dec. 13 lend give  students the option to read a banned book through this unit they learned the reason why it was banned. This unit focus on books that were censored and the meaning behind the books been censored.

Some wonder why some books aren’t read in school. There is always a story that one likes and wants to read really bad. But not everyone thinks the same way. A banned book is been referred to a book that have been prohibited to be spread or deliver to the audience. It can be because it has a religious effect or content that is not educational for a scholar to read.

The books were consisting of “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher, “Crank” by Ellen Hopkins, “Luna” by Julie Anne Peters, “Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson, “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Saenz, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie, “Mexican Whiteboy” by Matt de la Pena, “Looking for Alaska” by John Green, and “Forever” by Judy Blume. The list goes on but this are just some of the banned books.

Students had different perspectives based on the books they had a chance to read. Adriana Nava, a senior, stated, “I thought it was a really creative and optimistic unit.”  She furthermore explained how she really enjoyed been able to read a banned book and finding out the reason why it was banned. The book Nava read was “Luna” by Julie Anne Peters, which really made her upset to know that it was banned. The main idea of her book was about a sister accepting her brother been transgender and identifying himself as a female.  The book to Nava was really interesting but she understood that book was banned due to sexuality, drugs, and drinking content.

Like Nava, Sailly Rivera, a senior, expressed that “Luna” by Julie Anne Peters shouldn’t be banned because it delivers a message to the world about respecting each other’s personalities. Rivera also added that the book’s overall should be banned out of the kids sections but be open to the teens and adults.

Another senior, Estrella Mendoza, explained that, “When I read a book that was banned, I felt glad because I believe that we should be able to read any book we want.” This leaded her to the idea that books shouldn’t be banned.

Multiple people shared the same ideas about books not been banned. Mario Garrido, a sophomore, explained his thoughts about the banned book unit. Garrido really liked this unit because he was able to pick his own book. As he also added, “I think banned books should not be banned because they have controversy topics, which students can learn and discover in the book.” Garrido’s banned book was “Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Luis Marquez, a sophomore, had an opportunity to read “Mexican Whiteboy” by Matt de la Pena. Marquez indicated that, “the book I read actually had an impact on me because it talked about the truth of racism that happen in society.” He also thought that this book should be open to students in seventh grade through twelfth grade. Similar opinion as Garrido had previously stated about banned books actually showing the reality of society and helping teenagers know what goes on in society.

Liliana Ramirez, a junior, read “Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson like Garrido. She explained that this book shouldn’t be banned because it is something that the teenagers need to learn about. Ramirez indicated that her book showed, “How they need to stand up for themselves and don’t let things be hidden in their mind no matter how bad the action is.”

Yomaira Herrera, a current senior, said, “I loved the banned book unit because it took out the fun of reading books. I don’t think that books should be banned since there are way of expressing emotions to others”.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee has been banned from schools for using a lot profanity words, which brought the idea it was not intellectual for kids to learn that kind of language.

Another book was “Animal Farm” by George Orwell, which was banned because it showed the rising of Communism and in a way mocking the Soviet Union.

  “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi was also banned due to the demonstration of mocking an Islamic girl life. The novel was banned for having drugs, fights, promoting gangs, and bad behavior with families.

The idea of removing a book from students to read creates a lack of knowledge that students can learn. There are social, physical, and emotional ideas behind the banned books that one needs to learn. However, if the students are not allowed to be open minded to the ideas out there. This creates a lack of knowledge when facing reality or at the most the outside world. This can be due to lack of information or more information than one needs that the books are been removed.

By social problems one can refer to the facing the difference there is in people. For example, if people are different than oneself then the students are afraid to face or interact with someone different than them. This can create a disrespect between the students as well as between adults.

Drugs and drinking is a big key in the books since teenagers are growing and learning new ideas as they grow up. But teens learn differently and there’s a certain age to which this type of books should be exposed to.

Transgender was mention in one of the books , which is an emotional perspective that some people in general face. There is not much support since they are thought to be different. But if one reads a book in which it portrays a situation or even a real life experience. This will create their mind to be open to the idea of a change and accept difference.