Maddie Howard

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

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

My mom was a school board member when the book was initially challenged. She came home from the meeting infuriated with the situation seeing as she is completely against censorship. I shared with her my love for Perks of Being a Wallflower and how the book simply could not be removed from the school.
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?
This is a common argument in which people use. True as it may be, there are several students who live in unincorporated Glen Ellyn as well as other areas throughout Glendale Heights, therefore they do not have the privilege of using the Glen Ellyn Public Library. Along with the living situation, other students may not have the money to continuously purchase new books if they are unable to find them in their classroom library.

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

Teenagers need to be exposed to the reality of our society. By making literature with controversial topics and realistic situations available to them, students can prepare themselves for future issues. If we limit opportunities for teens to read these types of materials, we take away a chance for them to grow not only as readers but as human beings.

Who inspires you? Who is your hero?

My hero is my eighth grade Literacy teacher, Dr. Lynn Bruno. As I enter my sophomore year of High School, I still remain very close to her. Over all, eighth grade held several learning experiences for me. Dr. Bruno helped me through the good and bad situations. She taught me that no matter what anyone says it is okay to be different, and that everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Whenever I needed someone to talk to, she was there, and still is. Lynn Bruno is my hero; she has showed me the beauty in life and how much it has to offer.