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Scoops and Hoops
May 13, 2024

Should All Harry Potter Books be Banned?
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You may not know, but there are organizations and communities that believe all Harry Potter books should be banned. I do not agree with this statement.

The Toledo library organization states, “When Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was first published, many parents and teachers did not want this book in their schools, homes, or libraries. At. All. The book promoted ‘witchcraft, the occult, and anti-family themes’ just to name a few.”

Now, almost two and half decades later, the book has sold over one hundred-twenty million copies worldwide; despite almost becoming a nationally banned novel.

So, the big question is why and how do books get banned?

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The American Library Association conveys that books mainly get banned because of “sexually explicit” subjects, “offensive language” and material was said to be “unsuited for any age group”. But, how do books fit into one of these categories?

For example, one of the most famously banned novels in the world is The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. The narrative details the two-day tale of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield after being expelled from preparatory school. Around 76% of readers worldwide adored the story, while the other 24% wanted the book forever banned from all libraries.

Eventually, that 24% turned into majority and had The Catcher in the Rye banned by schools and public libraries for having “sexual scenes, excess vulgar language, concerning moral issues, excessive violence and mention of the occult and communism.”

Thirty-three years later, the book is still banned or challenged in community libraries and in many schools around the United States. Though being banned the book is still loved in many homes and recommended by countless others as a good read.

The main challenge in school districts and communities is that many claim that banning books violates the first amendment rights of the people. Citizens claim to lose their right of speech when those excerpts of texts are banned and when districts or governments decide that the novel is not fit for readers.

This is a major problem in schools because educators are now limited to what they can teach and share with their students, which makes for many disruptions in school districts. Yet, the opposing side shares that some books are vulgar and offensive towards groups of people and should not be shared with the public.

Now, having knowledge about the controversy, would you ever attempt to ban a book yourself? And if so, what book?

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About the Contributor
Brooke Hillis ‘26
Brooke Hillis ‘26, Assistant Managing Editor
Brooke Hillis is the assistant managing editor for the Raider Review and a member of the class of 2026. She lives in North Andover, Massachusetts. In her free time Brooke plays tennis, reads, and roller skates. Her favorite book genres are psychological thriller and western canon. Brooke writes primarily for the science column and is looking forward to seeing future writing pieces from the Raider Review!

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