“What we don’t want is the people that don’t read a lot, telling us what to read.”
That is a quote from the marvelous Maureen Johnson. She was responding to some mothers who attempted to get her book moved from the YA section of the library, to the adult section. The librarians at the Florida library, luckily did not give in to pressure. You can read about it as I did, at Lee Wind’s blog, I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?
I don’t approve of book banning in any form. I may not like a book, I may not agree with the sentiments expressed in the book, but I do not agree with banning it. I think that in any written material there is worth for someone. Even racist material deserves its place. It is all about how the material is introduced. I, perhaps swimming directly against the current of my Catholic upbringing, don’t like to sweep things under the rug. I prefer to hit an idea out in the open, right on top of the head. One can’t learn unless one is educated and one can’t fight unless one knows the common tricks.
But back to the material at hand…
Let me first say this: I have not yet read the book. Frankly, I hadn’t heard of it prior to reading the blog entry which I quoted above. It is now on my list of books to read though. Perhaps I’ll read it during Banned Books Week 2009.
I don’t see a problem with handling sexual material in YA books. Teens have sex. As much as some would like to turn a blind eye to that, or think that it can be stamped out by judgemental adults who can barely remember their senior year in college, much less high school, it is the truth. There are also gay teens out there.
I have to wonder if the moms’ problem is with the “racy” material in the book, or the fact that gay teens are featured in the book.