Friday, June 26, 2009

High School Locker is Banned Books Library

A U.S. student at an unnamed private school has created an illegal lending library in the locker adjacent to hers to serve the interest of fellow students in books banned from the student curriculum by zealous school officials.

Anxious that she may be subverting her future success in life by current criminal activity and seeking guidance from the wise, she posted her dilemma on Yahoo! Answers:

“Is it OK to run an illegal library from my locker at school?

“Let me explain.

“I go to a private school that is rather strict. Recently, the principal and school teacher council released a (very long) list of books we're not allowed to read. I was absolutely appalled, because a large number of the books were classics and others that are my favorites. One of my personal favorites, The Catcher in the Rye, was on the list, so I decided to bring it to school to see if I would really get in trouble. Well... I did but not too much. Then (surprise!) a boy in my English class asked if he could borrow the book, because he heard it was very good AND it was banned! This happened a lot and my locker got to overflowing with the banned books, so I decided to put the unoccupied locker next to me to a good use. I now have 62 books in that locker, about half of what was on the list. I took care only to bring the books with literary quality. Some of these books are:

•The Perks of Being a Wallflower
•His Dark Materials trilogy
•The Canterbury Tales
•The Divine Comedy
•Paradise Lost
•The Godfather
•Interview with the Vampire
•The Hunger Games
•The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
•A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
•Animal Farm
•The Witches
•Shade's Children
•The Evolution of Man
• the Holy Qu'ran
... and lots more.

“Anyway, I now operate a little mini-library that no one has access to but myself. Practically a real library, because I keep an inventory log and give people due dates and everything.

“I would be in so much trouble if I got caught, but I think it's the right thing to do because before I started, almost no kid at school but myself took an active interest in reading!

“Now not only are all the kids reading the banned books, but go out of their way to read anything they can get their hands on. So I'm doing a good thing, right? Oh, and since you're probably wondering 'Why can't you just go to a local library and check out the books?’ most of the kids are too chicken or their parents won't let them get the books. I think that people should have open minds. Most of the books were banned because they contained information that opposed Catholicism.

“I limit my 'library' to only the sophomores, juniors and seniors just in case so you can't say I'm exposing young people to material they're not mature enough for. But is what I'm doing wrong because parents and teachers don't know about it and might not like it, or is it a good thing because I am starting appreciation of the classics and truly good novels (Not just fad novels like Twilight) in my generation?

“More books I have:
•One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
•The Picture of Dorian Gray
•Lord of the Flies
•Bridge to Terabithia
•East of Eden
•The Brothers Grimm Unabridged Fairytales.
...the list goes on.

“Twilight is banned also, but I don't want that polluting my library.

“As for getting the press involved, reporters are not allowed on campus. Besides, my parents would be so mad if they found out I was doing this.”

It’s a regular Vatican Library Index Prohibitum she’s running there. It’s nice to see kids engaging in productive, enriching activity rather than the usual teen shenanigans. Where was this young woman - the high school valedictorian, as far as I’m concerned, with excellent taste - when I was in high school?

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