Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Censorship and suppression are alive and well

I subscribe to a listserv which connects me with other Young Adult library staffers around the United States (and even in Canada!). This listserv has provided much food for thought for me over the last few months and yesterday, a link was posted to a blog entry which made me want to bang my head on my desk. I did sit here for several minutes with my mouth hanging open.

In short, author Ellen Hopkins was UNINVITED from attending the Teen Lit Fest in Humble, TX. Why? Because (and I'm ashamed to say this) a middle-school librarian told some influential parents that Hopkins' work was "edgy and dark" and inappropriate. These parents raised a fuss with the school board and superintendent, who uninvited Hopkins.

My friends, I may not always agree with your reading choices, and I may try to steer younger ones away from material that I think is too mature, but I will never tell you "NO." If you encounter this kind of thing from anyone (other than your own parents telling you what they believe is best for YOU, as an individual), you have my permission to laugh in their face. Then go out and lobby as hard as you can to have the author or books reinstated.

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