That’s what I like to see in a young woman!

By Ken Perrott 07/09/2011

Credit: Toothpaste For Dinner (

Recently, I have been debating with some of the theologically inclined the question of religious privilege in a secular society and the funding of private religious schools. Coincidentally I came across an internet post which illustrates one of the problems of these “special character” schools – prohibition of selected reading material (see Is it OK to run an illegal library from my locker at school?)

It’s quite heart-warming story, really.

As this young woman, Katherine, explains it:

“I go to a private school that is rather strict. Recently, the principal and school teacher council released a (very long) list of books we’re not allowed to read. I was absolutely appalled, because a large number of the books were classics and others that are my favorites. One of my personal favorites, The Catcher in the Rye, was on the list, so I decided to bring it to school to see if I would really get in trouble. Well… I did but not too much. Then (surprise!) a boy in my English class asked if he could borrow the book, because he heard it was very good AND it was banned! This happened a lot and my locker got to overflowing with the banned books, so I decided to put the unoccupied locker next to me to a good use. I now have 62 books in that locker, about half of what was on the list. I took care only to bring the books with literary quality. Some of these books are:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
His Dark Materials Trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass)
Sabriel (Abhorsen)
The Canterbury Tales (Oxford World’s Classics)
The Divine Comedy
Paradise Lost (Modern Library Classics)
The Godfather
Interview with the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles)
The Hunger Games
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
Animal Farm
The Witches
Shades Children
The Evolution of Man – Volume 1
The Holy Qur’an

Anyway, I now operate a little mini-library that no one has access to but myself. Practically a real library, because I keep an inventory log and give people due dates and everything. I would be in so much trouble if I got caught, but I think it’s the right thing to do because before I started, almost no kid at school but myself took an active interest in reading! Now not only are all the kids reading the banned books, but go out of their way to read anything they can get their hands on.”

As she says – she thinks  “it’s the right thing to do.”

Well of course it is. Sometimes one must act according to one’s conscience, not figures of authority.

But what initiative! Such an intelligent approach to this problem.

Thanks to Alice Sheppard (@PenguinGalaxy)

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0 Responses to “That’s what I like to see in a young woman!”

  • Animal Farm? The Canterbury Tales? Hitchhikers’ Guide? WTF? Maybe we should ban all books. After all, it has worked so well for the War on (some) Drugs!

  • Rules/laws might tell you what or not to do, but they should never tell you what or how to think. This young woman should be commended for broadening the minds of her fellow students.
    And yes, banning some (er, most… um, all…!) of those titles is plain ridiculous!

  • “Twilight is banned also, but I don’t want that polluting my library.”

    Hee hee.

  • I wonder, was the school being just a little bit clever here. The list is obviously stupid, is it just too stupid. Do you think it was an experiment in reverse psychology. Seems to have worked too!!

  • There is questions on the Answers site as to if this is actually a real situation. As Bob notes, the books banned seem too stupid.

    “Twilight is banned also, but I don’t want that polluting my library.”

    I personally feel the same about Slaughterhouse 5, which is in an extended list on the site. Theres a couple of hours I’m never getting back.

  • It wouldn’t surprise me that a Christian school would ban books such as Twilight and Harry Potter. Vampires, wizards and the like scare the willies out of them. They think their kids will start actually believing that rubbish. I mean, come on! More believable is drinking the blood of Christ and rising from the dead. Oh, hang on…