By Hanna House
Staff reporter

“The Giver”, “The Great Gatsby”, and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” are books that many students have read sometime throughout their high school career. What you may not have known is that these books, along with thousands of others, have at one time been challenged to be banned.

Banned Books Week started in 1982. For many it is a way to practice and recognize their freedom to read whatever they choose.

Throughout the week of Sept. 22-28, people will gather and celebrate their freedom to read.

”It is a way for me to express my freedom to read and to recognize that not everybody has that freedom,” said Dalene McDonald, director of Deets Library.

Alyx Ellsaesser, English junior, recalls helping pass out bookmarks and advertising the banned books in her high school library to help celebrate this special week.

“I worked in a library for three years in high school and we always had banned book pins and bookmarks, “said Ellsaesser.

Alice Bendinelli, assistant professor of English, said, “I am working with the library and we are going to host a discussion of the ‘Great Gatsby’.”

McDonald said, “’The Great Gatsby’ is one of many classics that has been challenged somewhere in the United States.”

John Scaggs, professor of English, is leading the discussion of “The Great Gatsby” at 7 p.m. on Oct. 3.

People celebrate Banned Books week in many different ways. McDonald is thinking ahead to next year’s Banned Books Week and hopes to start a read aloud.

“Some libraries are participating in a read aloud or shout out where people come in and read a portion of their favorite banned book,” said McDonald.

“I don’t think that anyone has the right to tell someone else what you can or can’t read,” said McDonald.

Hanna House is a freshman majoring in communication. You may email her at