Banned Book Speech: Ace of Spades


My name is Lea Astarjian and I am a 9th grade student here at Bancroft. I wanted to discuss the book Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé and how it has been banned. This novel has been banned based on it containing subjects such as race/racism, and sexuality. Currently 36 states in the U.S have introduced laws and policies that restrict lessons on race and racism which I believe to be wrong. It is important to discuss these topics because many people my age are not very comfortable with them. Including this book in the curriculum will help ease that concern and encourage dialogue. If this novel were to be unbanned then students would be able to read it and relate to it with their own experiences. This novel is modeled after the show Gossip Girl. A major part of the book is how the characters’ secrets get revealed to the school through an anonymous person similar to what happens in the show. The goal of this person is to slowly degrade the main characters and ruin their lives with pictures and videos revealing secrets that they don’t want to be known to their peers. It shows what people will do to get into the spotlight, no matter what they have to say or do to become popular and be perceived as better than everyone else, even if that means being rude or insensitive towards others. One objection that might come up to unbanning the book is that people are more aware of racism and don’t necessarily need an in- depth lesson about it. But even with all the media today you aren’t really able to dive deeply into topics. You just get an overview, while with books you can get much more information. This book could be a tool to teach students about bullying, race, and sexuality. Another objection that could come up is that it’s just a book, why can’t we use the internet to learn and teach about these things. My response to that would be that some kids can’t absorb facts from an article or lesson, while having examples in a book where they can use their imagination may make learning easier for them. Ace of Spades was a finalist for the William C. Morris Debut Award and was named one of the best young adult books of 2021 by the Boston Globe. This book did not achieve these by just existing, it was able to accomplish these by being a genuinely good book that has some great lessons in it while still being enjoyable. If we keep this important book off of the shelves then what other books are going to be banned in the future and where will the banning of books and ideas end?


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