Here is my second, and overly heated, blog post for the A to Z challange. I apologize in advace for the tone, but I was peeved when I wrote it.
B is for banned . . . as in books.
I have blogged about this issue before, but yet again it seems to keep popping back up. My teenage daughter goes to a small parochial school that prides itself on academic excellence. There classes are structured, the expectations clearly laid out, and the teaching staff is highly credentialed. My only complaint – they censor what the kids can read.
They kids are required to carry with them a pleasure reading book at all times, a useful tool to keep the them occupied while waiting for other students to finish assignments. Without fail, I get a phone call at least twice a month questioning my daughter’s reading choices. Funny, of all the parents in the school, it is me who always gets tagged. Perhaps if I told them I was a writer . . . that half the books they have pulled out of my daughter’s hands I had beta read before they were sold, they would change their tune. Then again, probably not.
Yesterday I got a call from the front office requesting I pick up my daughter’s book. The literary offender – a popular, best-selling YA Shape Shifter novel that has a tiny bit of sex in it. So I put on a smile, walked into the office, and asked for the book back. Then I handed it back to my daughter and told her to go back to class. I then, not so eloquently, told he administration that I . . . I, not they, would determine what was appropriate reading material for my daughter.
Smart man he was slapped down what appeared to be a print out from the authors website indicating that the content (sex and language included) was geared towards the teenage audience. Fantastic, because my daughter is fourteen . . . FOURTEEN! She is a teenager. He didn’t take to kindly to my comments so I was forced to remind him that To Kill a Mockingbird (a book that I love and think all teenagers should read) was required summer reading this past year. This same book, incidentally, which has been the source of much controversy and has been banned form several school reading lists. Hmm . . ban a multi-million dollar author but give them to "To Kill a Mockingbird." Good choice!
So where do we stand . . . not sure, but you better believe I am loading my daughter up with “inappropriate” YA Vampire books for school next week!