LeVar Burton Encourages Kids To Read Banned Books

by Lauren Gordon
LeVar Burton at the international book awards encouraging kids to read banned books.
Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty

Former Reading Rainbow host and beloved pop culture icon LeVar Burton urged kids to never stop reading banned books

Among kids in the US, reading for fun has become less commonplace. It is without a doubt a combination of factors, but reading advocate LeVar Burton is determined to make sure banned books isn’t one of them. Recently Burton appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and performed a skit that blatantly mocked wholesome books that were banned.

The skit begins with Burton trying to read Rosa by poet, activist, and educator Nikki Giovanni which is a tribute to the revolutionary Rosa Parks.

“So, as it turns out that book is banned because reading about segregation is divisive,” Burton says.

He then tries to read Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson’s book And Tango Makes Three but promptly “has” to shut it.

“It’s about two penguins and their little baby,” he explains. “Both penguins are boys. Well, I’m told that that book is also banned because of sexual perversion which is weird because there’s no sex in the book at all. Y’all, they adopted the baby.”

Finally he reveals he can’t even read Dr. Seuss’ Hop On Pop because it evidently “encourages violence” towards fathers.

And y’all you cannot make this crazy up.

Burton then broke “character” to send a very serious message to kids:

“Read the books they don’t want you to — that’s where the good stuff is. Read banned books!”

His warning is one to heed. After all, according to NBC, America ended 2021 with a surge in censorship, including incentivized book banning. It’s especially important for parents to be involved in the education of their kids, because while the school may “ban” a book, there is nothing stopping you from adding it to your cart.