Every year in my middle schools classes, about the third day of school, I step up onto our radiator so I can point to a massive poster of an iceberg and talk about it with my students.
I begin with, “You are all icebergs. I am an iceberg. Every book we’ll ever read is an iceberg. ICEBERGS!” At this point, many students wonder aloud what is the matter with the thing in my head called a brain?. Some students allow their eyebrows to rise, understanding where we’re about to go. Some want to know if I have ever fallen off the radiator.
The iceberg analogy is incredibly useful when thinking of, reading, or talking about banned books. Because often, books are censored for what people label “outrageous” or “unacceptable” about the surface of the book. But deep down, way below the surface, every banned book I’ve ever read or taught has had, at its core, incredible incantations of love, empathy, and pleas for understanding and recognition.~ read more ~