Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My kid shouldn't see (Plus giveaway)

Maybe you got it from the horse's mouth. Maybe you heard the legal side from Michelle. Maybe you got the Christian take from Myra or Veronica Roth. Maybe C.J. Redwine made you cry.

At the heart of the matter, SPEAK, a book by Laurie Halse Andersen. The book is about a girl who doesn't speak up about being raped. Associate Professor, Wesley Scroggins thinks it's soft pornography and calls for it to be banned.

I'm going to weigh in with an opinion that I haven't seen in the booky blogosphere.

I agree.

I don't want my son to face these topics.

But it's not just YA literature. If I want him never to cross paths with these things then we need to ban all sensitive topics, violence, sex, language, etc from public television. But not just public television.

When you open a book, you have a fair idea of what you're getting. That's what blurbs are for. But my 6 year old could easily turn on the tv and see the opening scene from SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. So we'd either need passwords or finger identification for cable. Or we need to get these movies censored there too.

Oh, and really when you think about it, there's nowhere that's got more violence and sex and suicides and everything else than the news. So we'll have to censor that as well.

And, heaven forbid, the poor kid were to go out and SEE someone do something bad. We'll have to have teams of scientists work on developping drugs for removing specific memories. And because the initial shock would be so great, we want to make sure noone wants to commit crimes, so we should have everybody fitted with those trackers like in PARANORMALCY (not a spoiler- happens in first few pages) that will just euphanise them when they do.

But dealing with euphanised criminals would be so traumatic for our happy sheltered offspring that we'd have to train a special force from Birth to deal with removal of the bodies.

That would be an ideal world!

Since it's so different from the one we live in, we should give it a new name. How about Panem?

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your stance) we don't live in that world. And for the world we live in, sometimes we all need a little eye-opening. I'ma do my part and give you guys to win the books below in honor of Banned Books Week next week.

Laurie Halse Andersen's SPEAK is at the centre of the most recent censorship controversy.

This book was recently banned in Stockton, Missouri.

Ellen Hopkins was uninvited from a Texas book festival because of her books.

The Chocolate War has been in the top ten most challenged books 7 of the last 9 years. It is the third most challenged book this decade and the fourth most challenged of the 90s.

The Color Purple is one of the most frequently challenged classics.

I was fortunate enough to meet Maya Angelou. Her story is about as sad as any I've ever heard. This book was in the top ten most challenged in 2004 and was the third most challenged book of the 90s.

This YA classic is #16 on the most challenged this decade and #7 in the 90s.

This was a favourite of mine growing up. It tells the story of black kids growing up in the Deep South in the 30s and every thing they faced. It's the first book in a trilogy and just celebrated its 25th anniversary. It made the top ten most challenged in 2002.

TWO (random)lucky winners can win all EIGHT of these books. That's right. You're winning the whole slew. (I get a little crazy when I'm angry. But you knew that already, right?) Oh, this is open anywhere that The Book Depository ships.

All you have to do is blog. Blog about censorship or any of the 8 books up for grabs and leave a linky in the comments.

And the contest is retroactive, so if you've blogged about any of these since the first of September, then that post is eligible.

You've got until 11.59 EST next Wednesday.

Good luck.

I hope you're never afraid to SPEAK.


Lisa and Laura said...

Fabulous post and amazing contest! I'm always so proud when I hear other mothers speaking out against censorship. I think freedom to enjoy all different kinds of books is one of the most important gifts we can give our children. Bravo!

Autumn said...

I didn't blog about any of those books, but I did blog about another banned book, that talked about banning books

Loved your post...the beginning of it had me like what?? and I had to read it a lot more closely! Good job!!

PK Hrezo said...

I won't have a chance to blog agan right now, but I did tweeet about your contest. I totally agree with you. This book Speak gives victims a platform, while some peeps are trying to take it away. Absurdity. There are worse things to expose our kids to by turning on cable.

Inspired Kathy said...

I wrote a blog post (just to enter this contest...)
bkhabel at gmail dot com

Elana Johnson said...

Woot! Great post!! :)

Marsha Sigman said...

This is great, Claire Dawn! I hope everyone dedicates a blog post to this. No one should be afraid to speak and we should not let them get away with trying to silence the words!

Jen said...

Judy Blume!! I love Judy Blume!! What an amazing contest, how brave of you to speak up. I couldn't agree with you more, why is that we choose to speak on novels, but not on television shows or video games. It's a book, they're broadening their horizons, not killing 600 people to advance to the next level.

maine character said...

Great post. And all eight books? I just might start a blog for that. :-)

Anonymous said...

Somehow my Speak Out post turned out a bit personal. Sorry if I wrote the story of my life, but here's the link to the post I did about the banned books:

My email is:

Thank you so much for this giveaway. :)

Aleeza said...

you make some seriously great points, clare. indeed violene is everywhere, and banning books that portray it is no way to go about not exposing violence to kids.

here's my say on censorship: