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?