All writers have a process that allows them to create. However, the art of "Writing" is often mistaken for that "Process." Hopefully this blog explains the difference, and inspires people to develop their crafts, become writers, or just keep on writing.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Shining Light on Censorship

Frankly, I am still kind of rattled. As I mentioned in my last post, someone angry about the book selection of our local libraries called in a series of bomb scares. Now, it's not the bomb scares that bother me - they were hoaxes and amounted to nothing - but rather the insistence of a few people to decide what many people should read. I am the kind of person who believes in challenging thoughts and ideas, and not hiding controversy under a blanket of ignorance. So, when someone wants to go to extremes to bury someone's art, I take it upon myself to push back against such injustices.

Conveniently enough, next week is Banned Books Week, in which libraries and book stores are prompted to fight censorship by showcasing books that some people have wanted to ban in recent history (recent, in some cases, means yesterday). Well, let me be the first one to jump in the pool in this case. Below are the 20 most banned/challenged books in the US as of 2019, according to the American Library Association. You will notice that some are surprisingly innocent-sounding books, some are classics, and some are definite must-reads, but they definitely cover a lot of social territory. Sure, there are controversial titles here, but let there be no doubt that none of these should be banned.

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • George by Alex Gino
  • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
  • Internet Girls (series) by Lauren Myracle
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • I Am Jazz by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Bone (series) by Jeff Smith
  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  • Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  • A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss
  • Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg

If these titles are unfamiliar to you, that's fine. Hopefully, that gives you a little incentive to look them up on GoodReads or on Wikipedia. Maybe one of them has a particular appeal to you, or maybe you want to check one off your To-do list. Whatever the case may be, let this be the motivation to pick up a copy of, say, To Kill A Mockingbird, and read it over the weekend. In doing so, let those people who want to take these titles away that they cannot deny what has been created, and that their intolerance is no match for the power of the written word.           

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