by Nadia Zywina, Age 12, Canada
Artwork by Katie King
The worst thing that could ever happen to an author would be to receive the news that their book, a book that they have worked tremendously hard on, was taken off the shelves of a library.
For a variety of reasons, governments have the authority to remove a piece of literature from library shelves. If a book has obscene content, portrays a certain country in a “bad” way, or teaches religion, it can be challenged by the government. Numerous books have been banned without a second look because the message was hidden between the lines. The people banning the book did not take the time to understand it or why the author would write such “obscenity.”
One of the most beautiful pieces of fiction, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, was banned in the province of Hunan, China, in 1931 for its portrayal of animals acting on the same level of complexity as humans. Another great piece of literature that was banned is Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. It was banned in apartheid South Africa in 1955 for containing “obscene” or “indecent” material.
The list of banned books is long! Thankfully, a lot of banned books have been given another chance, and you can now find them on the shelves of libraries. The legacy of the banned books will live on and be present in the next generation to teach kids what it was like in the past. It will give the next generation of kids a little taste of what went on in their ancestors’ lives.
This issue deeply affects the young writers community. Young writers who hear about this issue may be wary about their content and whether it would be worthy of publication. It will restrict young writers from expressing how they truly feel in their writing because they are scared that the government won’t approve of it. In fact, I’m slightly worried right now addressing this and other worldwide issues I mention in my articles! If young writers feel like this, they will lose hope, and a writer losing hope means losing another potential author.
To help put an end to this, put your writing skills to work and write a persuasive letter. Send it to the person in charge of all of this, whether it is the head of your school district or the mayor of your city. As youth, we have all of the power in the world! Standing up to an adult and reasoning with a valid and mature opinion will show them how serious you are about this issue. Put your best foot forward and take a stand. Tell them what is on your mind in a mature and sophisticated way. Another way to help is to spread awareness in your school and community. You could write a speech and present in front of your class. You could design a slideshow presentation as well. Talking to other kids and book lovers about this topic will help it gain a stronger support system.
We can help prevent this problem. Take a stand for what is right. You have the power to do so if you have confidence in your abilities.
Nadia is a 12 year old writer from Canada. Writing is her passion, and she wishes to pursue her goal of getting published.