Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The State Of Censored Books or Authors

While I was in Houston I came across an article in the Houston paper about an upcoming book fair/author signings at a school being cancelled.  It was an annual event that was to include kids in the 6th through the 12th grades.  The reason for the cancellation is that they supposedly withdrew an invitation from an author who wrote teen books dealing with drug abuse, sex, and drinking.  When the other authors found out she had been “banned” they withdrew from the fair as well, causing the school district to cancel.

Writer are a tight lot and I wasn’t at all surprised that the other authors should their support and withdrew from the event.  I understand that.  But I think it is sad that all those children are now not going to have that all important exposure to literature.  They won’t get to browse through the aisles of books, meet the authors, and fall deeply in love with reading or even maybe writing.

The banned author stated that she wrote about things teens face today. That nothing she wrote wasn’t something that many of those students weren’t faced with each and everyday. The school coordinators stood firm, believing it was subject matter that would not be appropriate for all the ages included. 

I find myself understanding each argument.  But I wish they could have come to some sort of agreement. Maybe divided the seminar into two ages groups. That is a wide range of ages to try to find subject matter that will interest and be appropriate for all involved.  But instead it is cancelled and I feel that is such a shame.

What do you think about censoring or banning authors or their subject matter?  Would you support another author that was banned?


Jessica Nelson said...

I would support that author. However, I do believe in age-appropriate things, so I like your idea of dividing the fair and if a sixth grader wanted to go to the twelfth grade area, she'd need a permission slip from home.
This could've been easily resolved.

I'm completely against government censoring.

Sad story, and like you said, it's really the kids who get hurt in this situation.

Pat's Place said...

I am hearing about more and more books being banned. Some of the classics I read in high school and college are now banned. Are we trying to shelter our children from a lot of the difficult aspects of life?

Jill Kemerer said...

I agree that it's too bad the kids won't be around the books, but there are opportunities everywhere with our public libraries and even grocery stores carrying books.

Honestly, I don't know if I would support the author. I've flipped through too many YA books that seem to be written for college students. I'm not a fan of hardcore swearing or throw away sex scenes in YA. It really would depend on the book.