While it is not my favorite banned book, one of the top 100 banned books really jumped out at me as one of the most memorable: Bridge to Terabithia. There are many reasons why Bridge to Terabithia is challenged, but one of them is that death is central to the plot. I read Bridge to Terabithia when I was around 9 or 10 and I remember being horrified. I remember liking it, liking it, and then – BAM! Death! I was shocked – books were supposed to be happy! But after I finished, I read it again. Over the years, I read that book many more times, even though it always upset me. Now that I’m older, I recognize the allure: kids need the option to read books that are scary, or sad. Life can be scary. Life can be sad. But in a book, that scary or sad (or both) is contained. It’s a safe space to explore those feelings, without actually having to experience a traumatic event. And when a traumatic event does come along, that story is still there to provide comfort, to assure you that you are not alone.
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