Young Censorship

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I read an interesting blog post from the YA author A.S. King the other day that touched on censorship—especially as it pertains to young adult books.

Here’s an excerpt, but really, you should go read the whole thing because it’s fascinating:

I don’t know about you, but quiet censorship freaks me out. It’s the censorship that’s spoken over tea, over lunch, at random times when we are not prepared to answer because we are caught so off-guard that we really only think about what was said on the plane home. Last year I was asked to be on a censorship panel as an “expert.” I had to reply and say I was not an expert at official challenges. So far, my books haven’t had an official challenge as far as I know. Instead, I get embarrassed looks from dedicated librarians who whisper, “My principal won’t let me have that one in the stacks.” I have quiet un-invitations. I have quiet conversations with saddened teachers who tell me that a colleague said, “But you’re not going to actually give that book to students, are you?” I get quiet letters from devoted teachers who apologize for not being able to share my book with a student who needs it because of a fear of losing their job. Ah quiet. It is usually an indication that something really important is being withheld. Like the way we whisper cancer.

I think most of us are probably against censorship on principle, but … do you think it should vary depending on the impressionable age of the readers? Or is it always wrong? How about the difference between ‘official’ censorship by a government or a school system, as opposed to a parent saying No to a specific book for their child?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

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9 responses

  1. I think this is always an interesting topic of discussion! I wrote a post back in September for Banned Books Week that sums up my thoughts–here’s the link:

    http://bookmammalmusings.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/musing-mondays-thoughts-about-banned-books-week/

  2. I’m sure there will be differences of opinions with this one, but hopefully we will understand each other’s viewpoints better. My answer is here: http://barbarah.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/booking-through-thursday-ya-censorship/

  3. Very interesting this week. Here’s my answer. Cheers.

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