Bookmans fights censorship every day but especially in the month of September, we spends time promoting the right to read. In celebration of continuing our freedom to read, view, and listen to what we want, I was looking over a list of past banned books to help prepare an in-store display. Many of the titles jumped out at me as favorites from my grade school self; from scary stories to the entire Harry Potter series and even to Captain Underpants. These were all shockingly on a previous list of banned books.

harry potter

For me and a lot of others in my generation, these books produced a lot of emotion and laughter, taught valuable lessons all while triggering a mind of imagination. In a sense, so much that it helped discover an adventure for reading. Growing up the Harry Potter series was monumental to me! I remember the excitement of each book being released, and then begging my grandfather to go with me to be one of the Potter fans waiting in line at the nearby Barnes & Noble. (It wasn’t ever really that hard cause deep down I know he was a Potter fan too.)

Besides having my Grandfather being by my side with me each time a new Potter book reached my hands, one of my favorite Potter memories was reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with my entire fourth grade class. I remember we had convinced our teacher to let us have a Hogwarts’ feast, where we even had the chance to make and drink butter beer.

I remember sitting with my class as our teacher continued to narrate Ron and Harry’s journey to save Hermione from a troll loose inside of the castle. After we had finished each chapter we always talked about what was happening, and perhaps more importantly, the meaning behind it. I remember at one point we talked about how Hermione wouldn’t have needed to be saved, if Ron and Harry hadn’t been so cruel to her, but even given that the friendship between Harry, Ron, and Hermione was infinite.

Just like in that very chapter, the examples of loyalty, bravery, good vs. evil and even humility and embarrassment were all lessons displayed that resonated with me after reading each book. The fact that these books could have been banned prior to my class devouring them is unnerving. That these memories and lessons could have never been a reality is mind boggling. I hope that while we continue to support censorship we carry on enjoying our freedom to read what we want. With or without it’s censorship, I look forward to sharing my favorite youth series, Harry Potter, with future generations, and all the lessons these books hold.