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Think for Yourself

Katie Smith and Desiree Peters show off their Banned Books Week projects.

Each year the American Library Association sponsors Banned Books Week focusing on freedom of speech and featuring books challenged in American libraries. The Porter Ridge Media Center participated this year with a display around the theme of “Think for Yourself.”

In honor of the week Sarah Horton’s English III class decided to spend the semester with her class focusing on banned books and the reasons why people get all “worked up” about literature.

“I really want my students to leave my class respecting literature,” admits Horton. “I want them to be able to think for themselves and not let other opinions on a book scare them into not reading it.”

Together, the class read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and afterwards each student chose a banned book to read and research. Instead of writing a research paper on each book the class created colorful paper robots, decorated to portray his or her book. For the body of the robot the students collected information concerning the book and the reason it was banned.

“Most of the times the books are banned for ridiculous reasons,” states Katie Smith who read Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. “My book was banned because one of the poems talks about eating babies; but just because you read it doesn’t mean you are actually going to go out and do it.”

As the semester continues students will read The Crucible, The Great Gatsby, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; books banned due to witch trials, sexuality, and language. “For once,” announces Horton, “the cliché don’t judge a book by its cover finally takes true meaning.”

Written by: Josephine E. Mendez, PRHS Student Staff Editor
Posted: Oct 22, 2010 by Ms. April Dawkins

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