SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (DC News Now) — It is a debate raging in communities across the region – across the entire U.S., for that matter: banning certain books in schools and libraries.
Some activists at one bookstore in Shepherdstown are pushing back.
“If a book is banned it gives you more reason to buy it and read it,” said Chelseo Semonco at Four Seasons Books. The independently owned, local shop is advocating against censorship.
There’s a children’s book, for example, about a young girl wanting to wear a tuxedo. Many school boards and libraries across the country are saying books like these are inappropriate.
And Semonco says the local community is rallying behind it.
“I think small-minded people ban books,” said Julia Young at Four Seasons Books.
One book “And Tango Makes Three” is about two male penguins who create a family together.
“This was a book about those real-life penguins and they banned it on the premise of them being gay,” Stella Kelly, a Shepherd University Student
“It is entirely appropriate for schools and libraries to be careful what they have in their circulation. And it is also appropriate for a bookstore, as a private enterprise, to sell whatever they want to sell,” said Republican Larry D. Kump, who serves in the House of Delegates from Berkely County.
Kump says it is states like Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania that are challenging access.
But at Four Seasons, they say the more a book is challenged, the greater the interest people have in reading it.