As Jim pointed out earlier this week, it’s time to celebrate those books that others have tried to silence. I’m excited by the response that readers and authors have had to the situation with Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, and by the fact that the attention garnered by book-banning tends to help raise the profile of said book. While keeping a book out of a library or school is a terrible thing (especially an important and amazing book like Speak), I’m grateful that the ensuing controversy makes the book all the more prominent.
One of the bigger controversies of the past few months was the one surrounding Ellen Hopkins and the Humble, Texas Teen Lit Festival. When Ellen was “disinvited” from the festival, her fellow authors decided not to appear, and the festival was cancelled. It’s terrible for the teens who didn’t get to have the event. Representing teen authors, I’ve seen first-hand how important these authors are to the readers. I’ve seen more than one kid crying and thanking an author for what they’ve written, how their life has been changed for the better. It’s hard not to get emotional about the impact books can have. But it’s important to make a stand, and I hope the teens understood the difficult decision those authors made.
But, this post was really an excuse to link to Ellen’s fantastic Anti-Censorship “Manifesto,” which you can find here. It’s short, powerful, and well worth the read.