OPINION: The Hate U Give, a book that shouldn’t be banned

Abigail Wadlington

The week of Sept. 23 through 29 is National Banned Books Week. In libraries across the United States, books are banned for being “unorthodox or unpopular” according to the Banned Books Week’s website. The theme for 2018’s National Banned Books Week is “Banning Books Silences Stories” and it aims to fight against censorship in the libraries. The top four most challenged books of 2017 are: Thirteen Reasons Why, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Drama and The Kite Runner. In the following, senior Abigail Wadlington writes of her favorite banned book, The Hate U Give.

One of my favorite books is also one of the most banned books of recent publications. Written by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give is the story of a black 16 year old girl who seeks to change her racist world after witnessing the police shooting of her childhood friend.

This book has won numerous awards for the message it portrays–that our society is not perfect, and that stereotypes still dominate our world. In my opinion, this book carries incredible relevance and sheds such light on one of our biggest problems today that it should be considered a must-read.

Rather than embracing its message, though, many high schools have moved to ban the book. It was challenged for inappropriate language and banned from a Texas school this year. Only after a student-led petition which acquired over 4,000 signatures did the school allow the book back on their library shelves, but a student still must have parental approval to check it out.

Books, especially ones as important and relevant as The Hate U Give, shouldn’t be banned from libraries. Books are written to entertain and express; they’re meant to be read, not to be hidden. Nothing in Thomas’ book is meant to harm readers, only to teach us about a different perspective–a perspective our society desperately needs to learn from.