Wednesday, September 22, 2010


[the first part of this message has been redacted]

The blogosphere is abuzz with talk of the Missouri college professor who wants certain books banned from the local schools. If you haven't read his "voice of the day" piece, just follow this link:

Here's my problem: I can see both sides of this. I'm a writer/psychologist who loves the first amendment and thinks that adolescents need (and can handle) literature that shows them more than just a "Main Street, U.S.A." version of the world. I'm also a mom who wants to know what her kids are reading and learning.

There's a great post on this topic on Cari's Book Blog today (and I'm not just linking because she quoted me; she's also having a book giveaway!):

So, what do you all think?   And, on a related note, isn't the word "redacted" just delightfully evil?

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Mary said...

People will read a book if they really want to - no matter what age they are.
I don't read certain types of books because they don't interest me not because I'm overly moral.What concerns me most in all of this is the teachers. What is motivating them to choose this type of material? What other messages are they sending?

Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...

I'm going to read the article. I do think public schools and libraries should work with parents if there's a controversial book. Something like a parent release form for that particular book. I was just looking a the "previously banned" book display at the college - the world has changed so much since those books were banned.

aspiring_x said...

i don't think that certain books should be required reading, but i don't think any book should be banned.

especially books that are helpful to victims of rape. and i've read so many blog posts about this that i'm pretty sure SPEAK has been very helpful to many girls trying to find their voices.

as a mom, i have the right to censor what my children read, and you have the right to censor what your children read. i just don't like the idea of my neighbors trying to make those decisions for me.

and i don't like the idea of people's voices being silenced... whether i agree with them or not.

freedom of speech doesn't just extend to the spoken word.

but really, really i think a rating system would be extremely helpful!

Carole Anne Carr said...

A difficult subject, I found damaged children gravitated to the books that helped them with their particular problem.

HH said...

Thanks for sharing both links together. Super important topic.

Disgruntled Bear said...

When I was at Readercon, we got into a heated (yet still respectful) discussion about giving "warnings" on the book jackets. I'm comfortable with a system that rates YA books on sex, violence, and language, much the way sites like Reading Teen do:

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