Letter to the editor: Library’s reading list politically charged

August 22, 2018

End of humanity

Death row

Destruction of the world


America’s racial history


Drugged and raped


Teen mutilation

Cultural barriers


Dark side of American prosperity

These were the topics comprising the majority of books on the Sewickley Public Library’s high school suggested summer reading list in 2017. As a local resident who is concerned about education in America, I wrote to the library expressing what I believe to be is a lack of balance in the compilation. First, not one book was written before 2004, thus no classical literature. Second, with scant exception, the subject matter of the selections deals in fatalistic or politically charged themes. I was hopeful for a more balanced approach in summer 2018. To my chagrin, this year’s list is identical to the last with the exception of a substitution for “The Hate U Give” (a work from last year’s list inspired by Black Lives Matter).

It boggles the mind to witness our culture looking in on itself wondering, in genuine bewilderment, why our youth are so deeply troubled, why we suffer with such cruel violence, why family units struggle to stay intact and why our population is so profoundly uneducated when we pour subject matter such as is exemplified by our public library’s suggested reading list into the minds of our fragile yet curious and malleable youth. What outcome should we expect?

I am hopeful for improvements in 2019.

Stacey West


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