This week we have celebrated our freedom to read and put a spotlight on the issue of censorship and intellectual freedom. If you have seen the lists of challenged and banned books you will notice that many are books written for teens. Earlier in the week Stacey wrote about a teen author, Laurie Halse Anderson, who is very familiar with censorship. Young Adult authors, teachers, librarians, and readers have jumped to Ms. Anderson’s defense. In one case, the result was further censorship.
Andrea Cremer, a young adult author, was just one of many bloggers who felt compelled to speak in defense of Ms. Anderson. You can read her posting here. A few days later Ms. Cremer found herself in the principal’s office prior to a school visit. The reason? A groups of parents, after reading about her support of Ms. Anderson, were concerned about the “inappropriate content” of her work. That is a very interesting concern, considering Andrea Cremer’s debut novel, Nightshade, will not be published until October 19th, 2010! None of these concerned parents could have read the book, and yet, they were challenging the content. While I find this one incident frightening enough, it turns out that it is not the first time this has happened!
According to the ALA, Henderson Junior High School in Stephenville, Texas, has banned the entire Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. When the books were banned in 2009 the fifth book had not yet been published and the sixth, and final book was not even completely written! I am speechless. Thankfully, this quote from Chris Sims of Comics Alliance sums things up: “Stephenville ISD is ‘so committed to censorship that they are shattering the space-time continuum to literally ban books from the future.'” Amazing. See the entire Huffington Post article here.
You can get any of these books at our library (after they are published, of course!)so feel free to place a hold on one today. I know I will.