Gimli’s Dr. George Johnson Middle School had an interesting section in their library for February’s I Love to Read Month that stayed up for “Freedom to Read Week” Feb. 25 to March 3.
The banned book section caused a lot of interest with students and raised lots of questions, according the school’s librarian, Karen Smith.
“The ‘Chill out with a good book’ (section) was a winter display and it highlighted newly arrived books,” Smith said.
“I added ‘But not these’ to the initial display (for February)… and put some of the books that we have in the library that have (been) featured on challenged or banned lists behind some yellow and black caution tape.”
Titles in the ‘but not these’ section included: The Giver by Lois Lowry; Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume; A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle; a selection of Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Park; and the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.
From the Harry Potter series to A Wrinkle In Time, these book have persevered through efforts to ban them.
Rowling’s Harry Potter series has had the most success and has faced the most discrimination.
The fantasy series about a young warlock named Harry won numerous awards since its first release in 1997 and the film rights to the first two novels in its seven book series were purchased almost immediately by Warner Bros. in 1998 for a seven figure sum, according to Wikipedia.
L’Engle’s 1962 novel won the Newberry prize in 1963 and 56 years later, a film-adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time will be released on March 9 of this year.
The soon to be released film’s cast includes modern female role-models such as Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon. It will re-tell the tale of Meg, a teenaged girl who travels across dimensions to rescue her missing father with the help of science, magic, family, friends and three mysterious, otherworldly women called “the Mrs.” collectively, as the book states.
L’Engle’s book was listed at number 23 of the 100 most-challenged books of 1990-1999 and at number 90 for 2000-2009, according to the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom. Rowling’s series was listed at number one for 2000 to 2009 and tops the list of most challenged books of 21st Century, according to ALA.
“There have been lots of ‘Why that book?’ questions and discussions about making our own good choices.” Smith said. “I have tried to focus on the theme of our freedom and how important that is and how we should protect that.”