If you have not heard about the Ellen Hopkins censorship in Texas festival, please read Aprilynne Pike’s blog. Here’s the link: http://apparentlyaprilynne.blogspot.com/. What I am about to say is centraversial, I'm sure. Therefore, I ask you to trun away so as to not be offended by my thoughts. Thank you!
Anyone still here? Good!
When I read this, I became outraged at the sheer possibility of some parent picking up a novel, skimming its content, and organizing a protest to get the author out of a festival. It is one thing to censor your own children’s reading material, but to have the audacity to decide what is appropriate for everyone else’s? To be so terrible as to deem what is or is not appropriate for someone like me? Unacceptable in my book.
I’m sorry, but how can someone dare skim that which is meant to be read in its entirety, let alone form an opinion about it? This would be like simply looking me and deciding I am inappropriate because I wear black and silver bangles. Once I thought being mature was waiting to form an opinion about something until you could back it up with facts. Now I see I must be immature to go against an adult’s wishes, even only with my thoughts. If that is the case— I’ll not back down for the sake of maturity or having people think I am always levelheaded and sweet. I am a citizen of this nation and a stubborn female, so I will state my opinion; as calmly as possible, no doubt, but I’ll do it!
First off, I think parents that want to know what their kids are reading should read the book themselves, or even better, read it with their child and talk to them about the book. Parents don’t realize how important reading material is— and to take that away without giving it a chance . . . Just please, parents read the books your son or daughter reads and talk to them about it if you feel they are too young or immature to handle certain parts. You do have the right to censor what your own children read, but I pray you might find a valid reason for doing so. I respect any mom or dad who cares enough.
My second point might seem to counter the first: Parents do not have the right to tell other parents what to allow their children to read. Especially if they have never read the book in question. Let the parent of that child decide— not you.
Why do I care? This hit me hard not only as an Ellen Hopkins fan, but as a teenager. Luckily, my parents do not censor my reading (thanks guys!) so I cannot fully understand what it is like. I do, however, know what books have influenced me the most in life and writing— books which have been banned from schools everywhere:
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
Burned by Ellen Hopkins
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
There are many more, but I wanted to point out another opinion of mine: People should, of course, not pressure or expose other people's kids to books or movies their parents may not approve of. You can always ask the child and parents how they feel about certain reading material, because, once again, parents do have the right to censor what their kids read.
Bear in mind that when I talk about censoring books, I mean the books that we written for that kid’s age group. Don’t let them read Richelle Mead’s Succubus Blues if they are not ready for an adult novel. (For the adults out there, it is great!)) It is the same with movies: you wouldn’t let a fourteen year-old watch an R rated movie if you did not think they could handle it. The difference is, you probably would have seen the movie first.
One final question concerning the administrators: How could they have picked Ellen Hopkins to speak at the event without reading the material first?
I’m sorry for the rant, guys! I’ll get back to that writing thing I do.
P.S. Brigid has agreed to interview me!!! I received some awesome questions this afternoon, so I'll get to answering them right away. It should be up within the next few days.