Banned Book Week Turns Heads… And Pages


“I didn’t realize a lot of the books I read were actually banned in a lot of different states,” Everett Alquirca, 11th grader, said, “It feels kinda special to read books that are, you know, exclusive.” 


Many students felt the same way when learning about book censorship during the week of September 19th – September 23. 


Censorship is not the library’s job, it’s your parent’s job to guide you to what they feel you should read,” said Bobby, “It’s not their job to put their values on other parents.

— Bobby Sanchez


Banned Books Week is a week-long event that aims to raise awareness of the books that were challenged or banned across the country. During this week, schools, libraries, and community areas celebrate the freedom to read by making fun activities that encourage students to read. At Mt. SAC Early College Academy (MECA), Courtney Bell (Freshman English teacher and TAC Advisor) and Robert “Bobby” Sanchez (Media Center) hosted 5 activities.


On Monday, students pledged to read banned books during the Banned Book Week Pledge.
On Tuesday, students worked together to put together a puzzle of artwork for a popular banned book, the Giver, during the Community Puzzle.  
Wednesday consisted of even more fun at the Mystery Book Check Out. Books were wrapped and could only be identified by the reasons they were banned. They were available for checkout.


On Thursday, students took “I Read Banned Books” Mugshots. They were polaroid photos that show that the students are proud to read banned books.
Friday’s Trivia Contest was a game changer. Students competed in a “banned books” trivia.


“I’ve been…working in libraries, even though not running the things, been helping out for almost ten years now,” said Bobby Sanchez, “Reading has always been something that I’m passionate about and I love.”


In 2021 alone, 729 books were challenged across the country for a variety of reasons (American Library Association). The American Library Association (ALA) aims to bring to light these books to students, parents, and teachers everywhere. “Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.” (Banned Books Week Coordinator


Additionally, some students felt that some books are right to be banned. 


“If a book is, like, being challenged because of [a] misogynistic reason or something about race, then I think it has the right to be challenged and banned,” said Tara, president of the MECA Book Club. “However if it’s a topic about sex and maybe the LGBTQ then I think people deserve the right to learn about that stuff.” 


However, this is the case for many of the books that were banned last year. The ALA released a list of the “Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021,” with the main reasons being “sexually explicit,” “religion,” “LQBTQIA+ content,” and “profanity.” (ALA


Since the first event in 1982, Banned Books Week has become a staple in schools all across the United States. Recognizing and understanding censorship is one step forward to a future of knowledge. 


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