I am saddened to see that teaching literature is becoming more of a transaction than an experience of transformation. Forging meaning out of a book is a transformative experience, not a transactional exercise of questions and answers.
To energetically read requires a reader to support assertions with proofs, to consider counterarguments, to be willing to listen to what others say and in doing so, allows you to strengthen or force you to alter what you think.
When we base our choices of what to read on what will offend the least number of people, we are at risk of losing the benefits found in reading.
Through stories we make connections to An Other. In my literature classes Readers put aside their politics and immerse themselves in an empathetic cocoon for the characters they meet, offering them understanding and compassion.
The habits of mind readers acquire teach us to think. Books are both windows and mirrors, offering us the experience of meeting characters that feel what we too have felt, offering a bridge of understanding and compassion. To read is to think.