Sora Journal

Student Showcase - "Banned Books" Expedition

By Sora Schools

In the “Banned Books” Expedition, students explore questions like “Is the act of banning books for certain grades acceptable” and “Is censorship necessary, and if so, in what cases?” They chose one banned book to read in literature circles, analyzed themes, literary elements, and devices, and dissected the controversial and real-world topics that the book raises.

Project Creation

Students could explore the book they chose through a creative short story, persuasive essay, creative artifact related to an important symbol in the book, or a book trailer. 

Marina Soucy, who led this Expedition, shared that “students were able to take this project in any direction that they wanted, to a personal level or purely academic level if they wanted to write a persuasive essay for example. This is something I love about Sora, that students get to explore concepts in many different ways and do things that are meaningful to their lives.”

Two students presented their projects from this Expedition.

Lane F.

Lane F. presented about Felix Ever After and a piece of art they created inspired by the book. 

This book “felt genuine and felt like it was speaking to issues that real teenagers and young adults face in America and with being a part of marginalized communities,” said Lane. 

The main character, Felix, “felt a lot of pressure to be traditionally masculine in a lot of ways that weren’t really true to him, and a part of the character development was how he let go of people pleasing and being able to be his true self.”

Ezra R.

Ezra, who also read Felix Ever After, wrote a short story inspired by the novel. 

Ezra shared that the main character, Felix, was bullied online and struggled to find his community before joining a club where he was accepted. “My story is intended to show that no matter how much hate someone can experience online, there’s usually an accepting community in person that will accept someone.” 

The story Ezra wrote was about a new character experiencing online hate based on the character’s gender identity and presentation. 

“In this Expedition, I learned a lot about storytelling and how to write a short story as well as how to develop my own characters and I really enjoyed it,” said Ezra.

Read more about the 2024 Student Showcase here.