15 October 2010

Guardians of Ga'Hoole: Exile

Number 14 in the series. Out of all the books this is indeed one of my absolute favorites. Largely because the author used Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury as her inspiration and that particular book is one of my absolute favorites. The series ultimately boils down into one of my favorite themes and that is the tragedy of censorship. To censor a book is to censor someone's mind, and when we do that we assume control over another's mind. You may not agree and that is your prerogative, but it is truth. Through reading we gain knowledge. Through knowledge we gain freedom. Through freedom we have the ability to change the world, even if it is only the small realm in which we alone reside.

"To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves."
- Claude Adrien Helvetius

I firmly believe this quote!!! To tell someone that they should not read a book is to tell them that they are too stupid to have a choice or to make sure they don't read it in order to keep them towing whatever line you are selling. Freedom to read!!! In fact, I encourage everyone to read at least one banned or challenged book a year, at the very least (and some of you will be surprised at the list, perhaps some of your favorites that you would never even think of are on that list)


I have so very many, but just to name on series that almost everyone I know loves--Harry Potter!!

There is a letter I wish to share enclosed within this particular book from one owl to her family when she is marked for extermination for hoarding books.

My dear mate, my brother Coryn, and my little owlet,
You must understand, all of you, how deeply I regret endangering my own family. But in truth, every owl in every one of the five kingdoms is endangered, for we're not talking about losing our "vanities" here. We're talking about losing the right to think. Books can be burned. But the ideas and the knowledge in them cannot be killed. Owls can die, but books, never. Fear of ideas is the most extreme form of cowardice. I have love in my gizzard and heart; they only have hatred. I have inspiration from the books I have read; they only have terror from the lies they have chosen to believe. I have heroes, like Siv and King Hoole; Grank, the first collier; and Theo the peaceful blacksmith. They have no one but that twisted blue owl. So don't worry about me. These owls who hunt me are more cowardly and more defenseless than I am, for they have stopped thinking.

This letter sums up the book for me. I absolutely detest censorship and have no compassion for those who choose to impress their ideas of what is right on me. We are all endowed with will and to exercise that will is the highest law.


Chelsea said...

I will have to go read this one now! Love the quote you shared!

Wammack Family said...

I too hate the idea of censoring books. I think even the "worst" books out there have something of value to them. I think in most cases the books simply allow for more discussion. I think kids needs to be exposed to more variety in books, but to make sure that we are there to talk about what they have read, how they feel about it and what makes it a banned book.

This month I read "The Chocolate War" and while I found the story to be okay, it wasn't my favorite book, but still it did not deserve to be one of the top banned books. I actually thought the book opened up a great deal of opportunities for dialogue.

Wammack Family said...
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Ruth said...

I agree, "banned" books will often open up a world of discussion. Perhaps in part, why they are banned. Too much thinking doesn't sit well with too many people. . . I have a book entitled "100 Banned Books", and I love going through and really seeing why they are banned. Ah the fear of the masses having a brain!!