Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

I chime in about the censorship issue

1 Comment

September 25, 2010-October 2, 2010 is Banned Books Week!

I really shouldn’t get this excited, but I am.  It’s like, “Screw you, system, I’m reading this book because you said it was bad!”

If you would also like to flaunt the fact you’re reading a book that has made someone else’s head nearly explode, check out the “Banned Books” tab at the top of my blog – lots of book suggestions there.  Most are more recent, but you can always go with an old fav like 1984 or The Great Gatsby.

OR…

Read one of the books mentioned below and make up your own mind.

The book banners are at it again – this editorial made the rounds over the weekend, where the writer (Scroggins) goes on and on about the evils of certain books, namely Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Slaughterhouse –Five by Kurt Vonnegut, and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. 

Anderson has spoken out on her blog/website and there’s been a ton of other great posts/Tweets about the subject.

Not much I can add other than to say that I thought Speak was a tremendous book and it makes no sense to me that this man is criticizing the book for (among other things) “a very dysfunctional family” and a rape scene.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I wasn’t under the impression that everyone comes from a perfect, nuclear family and nothing bad ever happens to anyone.

I’ve got an MLS, so I’m not much for book banning.  But I understand that parents have an inherent need to protect their kids, whether the dangers are real or imagined.   

The world is a scary place, so why make it scarier?  Use these books as a way to open up lines of communication instead of clamping down so hard on your opinions that your kid is afraid to come talk to you for fear of getting lectured or punished. 

Stop assuming everyone shares your opinion about what is “good” and “acceptable.” 

Okay…that’s all, my rant is short.

Just one more little thing: Thank you to my parents for never censoring what I read.  It’s times like this I’m grateful that I have such an awesome ma and pop.

Okay, three more things:

Check out the Contemps to watch a video response from Sarah Ockler – bravo to her for her honesty.  There’s also a giveaway on Sarah Ockler’s blog to win the aforementioned books.  I’ve never read Twenty Boy Summer, but now it’s going on my TBR list.

Also, do a search for some of the blog posts associated with this story (Speak Loudly) – I’m blown away by the amount of raw, honest posts that have come from this.  I applaud the bravery of everyone that has told their stories. 

Maybe if Scroggins knew what it felt like to be a victim without a voice, he wouldn’t be such an ignorant bully. 

Finally – don’t forget to support your local area, too.  My alma mater, Warren County High, is putting on The Laramie Project.  When one of the nearby community theatres put this on in 2004, there were protestors with signs outside.  And what were they protesting – were they angry at people that committed hate crimes or murder?  No, they were angry because the subject of the play, Matthew Shepard, was gay.

Hating something because you don’t understand it doesn’t work for me.  If you don’t get it, learn about it and pass on some of that understanding to the next generation.

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Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Currently in the query trenches. My faves include: cats, snacks & green tea.

One thought on “I chime in about the censorship issue

  1. Scroggins absolutely drives me mad. I mean, everyone’s entitled to their opinion (though he doesn’t seem to think so), but I personally find his opinions horrifying. Calling rape “soft pornography”? Really?!

    I love the idea of reading a book just because it’s banned. It’s such a kick in the teeth to all the people who think censoring ideas is a good thing. 🙂

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