Did you know that Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn was once banned in the United States and is often challenged today? Since 1982, over 11,300 books have been challenged in America. In 2014 alone, 311 books have been challenged and it’s only September! Every year the United States celebrates Banned Book Week and the freedom to read.
The truth is, banned books have shaped America. For example, who remembers reading To Kill a Mockingbird? Supporters of censorship argue that Harper Lee’s use of language and themes of racial oppression make To Kill a Mockingbird inappropriate for readers. However, how will we learn from past mistakes if we do not get to read and learn about them? Shelby Day, teacher and librarian, uses To Kill a Mockingbird in class to show students that “No matter how close-minded and intolerant the world can be, there are always those who will stand for what’s right.”
Junior Tome offers tribute to Banned Book Week with their September Book of the Month, I Kill the Mockingbird. This novel, by Paul Acampora, tells the story of three young kids who thoroughly enjoy their summer reading list. While they are thrilled to read To Kill a Mockingbird their classmates do not share the same feeling. In order to get the community to fall in love with Harper Lee’s classic, the kids decide to make the book “hard to get”. Their plan works when people want to know more about the book and its sudden disappearance from bookshelves around town. However, their book revolution begins to gain traction and things start to spin out of control.
I Kill the Mockingbird is perfect for teachers wanting their students to get a new take on the classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Discussion guides can be found here, http://www.tomesociety.org/2015-2016-jr-tome-it-list-nominees.html , to help foster classroom conversations.