This is a population of young people who don’t remember a time when the country was not at war. It makes perfect sense that their literature would allow them a way to exercise their thoughts about the nature of good and evil, and that it might reflect violence and great loss.
What they’re doing is making books available to students only if parents or guardians physically come to the school library to check out the books. The books are otherwise being held in a “secure location” within the library, where students cannot access them. These barriers are tantamount to the banning of books and are clearly inconsistent with our democratic freedoms and the free flow of ideas represented by the First Amendment. How do we expect our children to grow up to be inquisitive, educated, participating citizens if we set up such barriers to accessing classic American literature, such as Slaughterhouse Five?
— Julia Whitehead, executive director of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, on Republic High School’s decision to keep Slaughterhouse Five and Twenty Book Summer in a ‘secure location’ in the library.