Tonawanda News

Columns

September 26, 2013

KEPPELER: Read it -- because you can

Tonawanda News — Editor’s note: This column originally ran for Banned Books Week on Sept. 30, 2010.

Read a banned book this week.Go ahead. I dare you. You have four more days until the end of Banned Books Week, but that’s more than enough time to start something, even if you finish it next week or next month. (Or next year. Who’s counting?)

I’m going to reread “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which holds the honor of being not only being one of the top novels of the 20th century (according to Radcliffe Publishing Course), but also one that’s frequently targeted for challenges due to its language and its accurate depiction of the racism of the time. (Because, of course, if we never talk about it, it didn’t exist. Right?)

In one New York state district (in 1980), it was called a “filthy, trashy novel.” (Which probably made that many more students determined to read it.) In 1996, another district banned it because it “conflicted with the values of the community.” (Which makes one wonder just what those values are ... or if those challenging had really read the book.)

Whatever. It’s one of my favorites, and one that I think has made generations think about their world and the people in it just a little bit differently. That’s what good books do, after all — whether they’re American classics or light entertainment, I’m a fair believer that every book leaves a little bit of itself behind.

Other friends of mine plan to re-read the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle or “1984” by George Orwell. There’s a lot to chose from. Just since 2001, the American Library Association reports that U.S. libraries have faced 4,312 challenges.

That’s a lot of reading material. A lot of ideas.

Text Only
Columns
  • mug - adamczyk.jpg ADAMCZYK: Kenmore is a village made of bricks Buffalo and surrounding environs have brick buildings galore, often in the process of repurpose. Whole neighborhoods made of brick await development, redevelopment, gentrification, whatever wand will be waved at them to make them function again. Structures here tend not to be razed; they fall down occasionally but typically simply stand and wait.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • leffler, scott.jpg LEFFLER: Justice is blind -- and deaf and dumb I've always been intrigued by the concept of justice. I say concept because it really seems more theoretical to me than practical. One man's justice is another man's nightmare.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg For Sabres, more suffering is on tap

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Taking down trees 'disheartening' Several readers have questioned the City of Tonawanda's tree removal program. An email to Jenna Koch, who represents the third ward and checks into any query on the city, explained the program.


    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg [Duplicate] ADAMCZYK: Letterman was on my side The announcement that Mr. Letterman is retiring from his groundbreaking television program, sometime in 2015, is already old news, but it gives opportunity to ponder a few truisms about history and modern life.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leffler Mug 041114 [Duplicate] LEFFLER: 'Need to know' a double-edged sword Inquisitive doesn't begin to describe me. I must know everything. About everything. I hate being in the dark. I guess that's what makes my career choice so very obvious. I think "must know everything" is at the top of most journalists' trait lists.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wallace, Amy BW mug WALLACE: Airplane coverage has gone awry I don't know about you, but I am so sick of the cable news stations' constant coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: Making a list, checking it twice Maybe I was thinking about David Letterman's impending retirement. Or maybe it was because my brother posted it to Facebook. I spent a couple hours the other day crafting two top 10 lists, of my favorite books and movies.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: Letterman leaves immense legacy in late night Television watchers -- and I don't mean people watching TV, I mean people who follow the television industry -- have been speculating for years about what would happen when late night legend David Letterman decided to retire.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook
Front page
NDN Video