Well, originally I wanted last Monday's blog post to be about the fact that this week is Banned Book Week, but due to the internet being screwy and... other glitches, Friday's post got published Monday. So today we will be talking about Banned Book Week!
What is Banned Book Week? You may ask. It is a week sponsored by the American Library Association to bring attention to books that were banned or attempted to be banned in the past. It is designed to celebrate our freedom to read and write what we choose! For more information, check out their website!
In America, writers have this perception that we have the freedom to write whatever we want. It is, after all, in our constitution! However, there are groups who can and will try to ban material that they consider subversive, graphic and/ or in poor taste in an effort to "protect the people".
With situations like Harry Potter it is easy to go "What? Why would you ban such fantastic stories?" (For a detailed list of books that have been banned over the years, check out Controversial and Banned Books )
With Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code, it becomes a little more clear why certain groups might want to ban certain books.
But when someone proposes that your children should be allowed to read Mein Kampf By Adolf Hitler or Women on Top by Nancy Friday... well, suddenly one can see how book banning comes about.
I think parents have the duty and responsibility to determine what their children read. I do not think educators have that right, I do not think that the government has that right. I do not even think that Religious organizations have that right. Of course all of them have the same right that we writers have, freedom of expression. They are more than welcome to express their opinion on any work out there! (As long as they actually READ IT first!!)
That being said, I do believe that it is important as writers that we take our job very seriously. We have a duty to write quality content that reflects our own truths. Those truths are our own and there are people who may not agree with them. We may get sand blasted for expressing our thoughts and stories, our truth. We have to respect other peoples' right to do the same! But I actually covered a lot of my thoughts and feelings on Banning in another post Book Banning is At It Again so I won't beat that horse dead.
Now, what to do with the space left?
I know! Here are some samples of my children's book that will be coming out soon! It is a story dealing with entitlement and learning the joy of hard work and the pride one can gain from completing projects. (Which is exactly how I feel about finishing this book!!) Do you think it might get banned?