The words we see and read every single day can greatly affect us as individuals. Through reading any sorts of texts or books, we react differently in
which that can change us by who we are. Books are the main source of education, and yet there are so many that are still being challenged today because some say that certain books are dangerous.
However, I think there is only merit for teachers, parents, and other librarians to say that they are dangerous because they are typically the ones with extensive experience in reading books and experiencing life, as opposed to students and or younger children. According to American Library Association (ALA), some books are being challenged because they contain sensitive or inappropriate topics such as gender, race, profanity, politics, or religion.
There are some books that have been deemed “illegal” by my community, but are still being read. For example, once my middle school class was required to read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and I read the first couple of pages to get the gist of the story, but I felt slightly nervous to read even more. I remember during class time, we were almost halfway through the book, but my teacher stopped us from reading the story due to its many war, loss, and death scenes. My teacher believed it was a bit too advanced for us in terms of the intensity of the story so she decided to appropriately summarize what happens in the later chapters.
Another instance was when our class read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger my freshman year. It is currently a “challenged” book due the character’s multiple uses of profanity and alienation from society. However, I believe it was alright that our school let us read this because we were mature enough to not become influenced by the misbehaving character.
Overall, it is mostly one’s age or level of maturity and comprehension of a story that determine what books he or she should read. The teachers and librarians who are familiar with their students should be able to determine which books they are allowed to read, as opposed to the government or any other entity that does not have a level of familiarity with the specific individuals.