Banned Books Week: Our right to read, September 24-30, 2017

Corinne Payne

One of the dedicated group of students fought to keep "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" in schools
Glen Ellyn School District 41
Glen Ellyn, Ill.

How did you hear about the book challenge in your community and why did you take action?

I heard about the challenge through an odd assortment of teachers, students, and the internet. I took action because, not only is "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" a great and inspirational book, it is illegal and unjust to limit what books people have access to.

You can get books at the library or store, why should we care about a book being removed from one class of students or one community?

When a book is removed from a class or community it is labeled. Anyone in that community will recognize the book as inherently evil and wrong. People will be afraid to see what the pages hold because they have been told it is bad. Also, in this particular school, there are students who dont have access to a public library and who dont have the money to buy books. The school library is their only resource. If a school board starts limiting these minorities they are simply controlling them as if they were robots under the control of the board.

Why do you think being aware of book challenges or bans is important to our country today?

I think being aware of these monstrosities is important to our country today because we have the power to change the things going on around us, or at least give them a fight!

Who inspires you? Who is your hero?

Someone who inspires me is my grandmother. She was a caring person with a heart made of gold. She would always help anyone who needed it and she stood up for what was right. She hated seeing me cry and would always remind me that crying got me nowhere; I had to stand up to my oppressors and fight back! Margot Naulleau made me the young woman I am today. Without her, I might not have had the strength or the finesse to push back against the injustice of a banned book.