Last week was ALA’s Banned Books Week, and I found a whole lot of interesting stuff throughout the week on subjects of censorship. I just thought I’d round up a few here.
Here’s a wonderful talk by Lauren Myracle on the subject of book banning, from a recent Freedom to Read Foundation fund-raiser. Makes you like her and respect her work even more than I’m sure you did already, yes?
And Ellen Hopkins, reading a Banned Books Manifesto:
(thanks to Superstition Review for the link)
An article on why Banned Books Week is still needed in the U.S.
As it happens, Susan Patron wrote a fantastic article called “Shock Treatment,” in Horn Book Magazine this month (the theme of the issue being “Trouble”). She discusses the censorship controversy that arose after the publication of her book, The Higher Power of Lucky, in which a dog gets bitten on the scrotum on the first page and the word scrotum actually appears in print (*gasp*). You should read the whole article, but I wanted to include a quote that Patron references, by Joan Aiken:
It is the writer’s duty to demonstrate to children that the world is not a simple place. Far from it. The world is an infinitely rich, strange, confusing, wonderful, cruel, mysterious, beautiful, inexplicable riddle… Children need to get from the stories they read a sense of their own inner existence, and the archetypal links that connect them with the unexplored past… A story should give a child some kind of glimpse or vision or key or intimation that things are not necessarily what they seem.
Isn’t that something? I love the last sentence about things not being what they seem. Isn’t it important for children to question what they think they know? I’d want a kid who does that. Patron has more on censorship at her website.