Beloved by Toni Morrison, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and Animal Farm by George Orwell have been censored in the past as violent, obscene, sinful, profane, and Communist. These books are also either on suggested GPS summer reading lists or are studied in English classes.
In conjunction with the American Library Association, the GPS librarians are celebrating Banned Books Week Sept. 22-28, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. According to the ALA, the week “brings together the entire book community…in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.”
Interactive tablescapes in the Holland Library invite students to recognize books that have been challenged or banned. By lifting paper bags with the offensive traits of the books listed down the sides, students can discover the very books that the Holland Library has on its shelves and that decades of GPS girls have read – classics like The Grapes of Wrath, Brave New World, and As I Lay Dying alongside Newbery Award winners like Bridge to Terabithia and The Giver.
As the late playwright (The Women) Clare Boothe Luce said, “Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but unlike charity, it should end there."