Across America, books have been banned and required.
One may ask why, because how much effect can a book really have on a high schooler? Do they even read? The people in charge of children's education have a firm belief in sheltering the children of America and try to teach them that this is a great place; by banning Huck Finn and To Kill A Mockingbird for racism and trying to shelter them from Alice In Wonderland to shield teens from drugs. They also banned The Scarlet Letter for pornographic writing. Teens will experience these actions anyway so why not teach them the smart and educated half of it in class? All students should be on the same experience level of literature to have a deeper understanding of not only literature but life.
Books are an amazing way to discuss current and past issues in the world. A classroom is full of so many different people with different viewpoints and a conversation on race and drugs can become an experience that will lead to a better understanding of life for some students. How else would students know racism is wrong unless taught so? Only 54 percent of public schools require the reading of the Great Gatsby. From a literary point, the book is filled with symbols and will train the mind to recognize them. But, as a teen in America, the book talks about how materialistic people really are and at times like now so people may need to read this and realize how unimportant money is to live a fulfilled and happy life. Books give students a life experience that will forever be a part of them if we are only reading the Hungry Hungry Caterpillar and Sam I Am. American students will not acquire the skill and experience to read and live in the real world. The understanding of other cultures, times, and issues will lack an understanding of any kind.
People may feel that students won't want to read a required book. If every year the eleventh grade is when you read Macbeth, people will just talk. Older friends will just tell their younger friend how much they hated it and this will cause kids to lose interest. Also, every classroom in America is different. If a class full of minorities reads Huck Finn, they don't need to be taught how awful racism is and the disturbance behind it, so whats the point of even reading it? “Teachers have to make their own decisions,” is a quote that shows that a teacher should be able to get a feel of their class and to be responsible and select books that are in their best interest.
Over time, Hollywood will snoop out these required texts and mainstream them. They know teens are lazy and will watch a movie instead of sitting to read a book, causing them to make a movie about any required book just to profit off of it. This will just cause teens to become lazy and have no motivation to read. Romeo and Juliet essays will start to talk about how Leonardo DiCaprio met Juliet through a fish tank. Another problem is digital reading, which is almost cheating considering these digital books give you notes on every metaphor in the book. Our world is becoming more and more digital. “The idea of the great, inescapable books belongs to the age of print that is now passing." Not only are we losing reading, but we are losing books.
Reading gives American teens more than just the skills to read, but the skills for life. Reading is an experience and children learn about life through reading. America clearly can’t control lives, but they can teach the students how to live life to the fullest.