Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What-I've-Learned Wednesday

Hello, All!
This week has been all about editing for me, so instead of doing a Work In Progress Wednesday this week (because you can really only talk about editing for so long... and, time's up!), I'm going to share what I've learned so far this week:
1) Did you guys know it's BANNED BOOKS WEEK? And also that books that have been banned or challenged happen to be among some of my favorite reads? I simply hadn't thought about it before, since I was raised pretty much reading whatever I wanted.
Some banned books that I've read and loved:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
A Wrinkle In Time
Catcher In the Rye
Fahrenheit 451
The Grapes of Wrath
Lord of the Flies
2) The books on the banned books list that I don't love are only the ones I haven't read yet.
3) Apparently I like books that evoke strong emotions or present challenging ideas. I read both Lord of the Flies and the Grapes of Wrath for fun in high school, and can say that they challenged my thinking and helped shape my world view. Fahrenheit 451 was one of my favorite books in middle school and made me want to be a writer. Speaking of which...
4) It is both ironic and hilarious that Fahrenheit 451 was banned. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Way to prove Ray Bradbury's point, censors.
5) I believe in monitoring what your kids read based on their maturity level instead of based on fear or censorship. For example, I don't want my 9 year old reading Silvence of the Lambs because it will probably give him nightmares, but I would probably have no problem with my 15 year old reading it if they wanted to. I want my kids to have a choice, but I will parent to make sure they're ready to make it. Once they're mature, they can read whatever they want, even if it contradicts my morality or world view. It will be hard, but I think it's right.
6) Writers are awesome :). I've loved reading the different takes this week on the subject of whether or not books should be banned. Most writers have piped up with something along the lines of "I hope one of my books gets banned! That means it was good enough to evoke some real emotion!" That cracks me up. Go, writers!
So what do you guys think about book banning?
Would you like to see one of your books go up in flames be banned?
Why or why not?


Abby said...

Sounds like you've got the right idea when it comes to kids. In my opinion anyway. It's the parents' responsibility to monitor what their children are reading, not the censors.

I had a conversation similar to this with my youngest daughter's teacher yesterday. She reads about three levels above her grade, but at eight, she's not prepared for all the hormonal, emotional drama that's packed into young adult books. So, it's been a bit of a challenge for me to find books that are challenging for her intellectually, but not too mature emotionally.

As for my book being banned? I try to keep the content of my stuff from being too over the top. Mainly because I want it to be something I'm completely comfortable with my kids reading, since it's coming from me, and I don't want my kids to use it against me when they get older. "But Mom, you said we couldn't do this, but in your book you make it sound okay." You know, stuff like that. I do tend to over think things. But you know that. :)

Tere Kirkland said...

Happy Banned Books Week!

Actually, I hadn't put much thought into it for Evangeline, but I could see my WiP causing some trouble. ;)

Lisa and Laura said...

I'm all for letting my kids read whatever they want. My parents let us read anything and everything and I think it really created an appreciation and love of books in our house.

Kat Harris said...

Banning = bad.

I'm under the impression that if a parent doesn't want your child to read something, then they should pay attention to what their child is bringing home.

Sam said...

Why on earth would you ban A wrinkle In Time? That's incomprehensible.
One of the best way as a kid to learn is by reading. It seems ridiculous to ban-as an author, though, maybe it might be amusing. Meg Cabot and Maureen Johnson both think so. :D

Rebecca Knight said...

It's good to know I'm not nuts on the whole parenting versus banning thing. I mean, as writers and book lovers I know we're totally biased, but still! ;)