English Students Participate In Banned Books Week

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Andreas Opstad

Tom Sawyer, The Catcher in the Rye, Huckleberry Finn, these books sound familiar? They should, they are all on the USD 259 reading list. However these books are still controversial and in some places and times, banned. Here at Northwest High, the sophomores in Mrs. Priebe’s English class are discovering why.

“The project was to get the kids to read some classics that were banned at one point,” Priebe said. “They were to make journals and investigate as to why they were banned.”

Some of the times books are banned purely based on the title. Works such as The Naked and the Dead, which was a book about World War II, are banned simply because the name appears profane.

Sophomore Gabbi Hardiman read Of Mice and Men. “I thought it was a good book, but has some racist and some vulgar language,” Hardiman said.

Priebe requested the students read books that were banned as somewhat of a challenge, but also because this is somewhat of a personal subject. “My mother wouldn’t let me read ‘Go Ask Alice’ when I was in high school,” Mrs. Priebe said.

Go Ask Alice is a book that was controversial at the time. It is about a teenage girl that became addicted to drugs but that holds an anti-drug stand.

“I was happy to get a lot of positive feedback,” Priebe said, “During conferences, parents said they enjoyed discussing the banned books with their children.”