Insect-free morning

No bugs today. Yay. Maybe they get the first day of fall off to make their winter travel plans. That is one advantage to living up here – when it gets cold, you don’t see insects. Of course, hordes of hungry field mice knock on your front door and invite themselves in for dinner, but it’s too early to fuss about that now.

My New York driver’s license came in mail the other day which felt weird and cool. I look like I’m doing jail time in the photo. In state prison. Maybe I am doing that in an alternative version of this world. I used to think about things like that all the time when I was a kid – all the different versions of me in different realities, and what we were all doing at the same time. (I was doomed to become an author from an early age.)

Today I MUST finish my own travel plans for next month. Oh, shoot. I have to update the website, too. Argh. I’ll be speaking at English teacher conferences in Colorado and Florida, and at schools and libraries in Maryland, Virginia, and New York City. November is still a little up in the air. I’ll get to see Kimberly Willis Holt in Colorado and am really looking forward to that. She rocks.

This weekend I have to work on my speech about censorship for a Banned Books Week talk I’m giving at the Onondaga County Public Library. SPEAK is the book of mine that is most often challenged, usually after it has been in curriculum for a few years. I know that CATALYST has been yanked out a couple of libraries. Authors like Chris Crutcher find themselves on the hot seat all the time.

What do you think about the dramatic increase in book banning efforts?

84 Replies to “Insect-free morning”

    1. SPEAK was banned because it contains references to sex.

      My answer? It does not contain references to sex. It contains references to a crime: rape.

      CATALYST has been banned because it has swear words.

      I know one high school in Texas that doesn’t have PROM on the shelves. The librarian explained to me that she couldn’t have it in her school because the main character is disrespectful to her parents, stays out on a school night drinking, and has sex with her boyfriend. I pointed out to her that the main character’s life was in the toilet, and these behaviors were evidence of that, and the book was about how she pulls here life together.

      The response? “Oh.”

      For the record – all the other librarians in Texas I’ve met were much more aware of the world than this one woman. Texas gets a bad rap for a lot of things, but it has some amazing librarians.

  1. SPEAK was banned because it contains references to sex.

    My answer? It does not contain references to sex. It contains references to a crime: rape.

    CATALYST has been banned because it has swear words.

    I know one high school in Texas that doesn’t have PROM on the shelves. The librarian explained to me that she couldn’t have it in her school because the main character is disrespectful to her parents, stays out on a school night drinking, and has sex with her boyfriend. I pointed out to her that the main character’s life was in the toilet, and these behaviors were evidence of that, and the book was about how she pulls here life together.

    The response? “Oh.”

    For the record – all the other librarians in Texas I’ve met were much more aware of the world than this one woman. Texas gets a bad rap for a lot of things, but it has some amazing librarians.

  2. SPEAK was banned because it contains references to sex.

    My answer? It does not contain references to sex. It contains references to a crime: rape.

    CATALYST has been banned because it has swear words.

    I know one high school in Texas that doesn’t have PROM on the shelves. The librarian explained to me that she couldn’t have it in her school because the main character is disrespectful to her parents, stays out on a school night drinking, and has sex with her boyfriend. I pointed out to her that the main character’s life was in the toilet, and these behaviors were evidence of that, and the book was about how she pulls here life together.

    The response? “Oh.”

    For the record – all the other librarians in Texas I’ve met were much more aware of the world than this one woman. Texas gets a bad rap for a lot of things, but it has some amazing librarians.

  3. I’m not altogether sure there’s been an increase in book-banning efforts. I’m sure, however, that there’s been an increase in reports, in part due to the increasingly educated librarians throughout the country. Gone are the days when someone who likes books can wander in and land head librarian — you need an MLS, etc., these days. And I’m pretty sure all the coursework they do includes some ethical/theoretical stuff and instruction on the First Amendment and so forth. But that’s just my opinion.

  4. I’m not altogether sure there’s been an increase in book-banning efforts. I’m sure, however, that there’s been an increase in reports, in part due to the increasingly educated librarians throughout the country. Gone are the days when someone who likes books can wander in and land head librarian — you need an MLS, etc., these days. And I’m pretty sure all the coursework they do includes some ethical/theoretical stuff and instruction on the First Amendment and so forth. But that’s just my opinion.

    1. I hadn’t thought about it that way. I wonder – has anyone done a historical analysis? Maybe ALA would have something. Hmmmmm…..

      I believe we are definately seeing more attempts at banning contemporary novels from high school classrooms. That’s because these books take on contemporary issues, which tend to be volatile. It’s so much easier to discuss passions and the human condition when it is set in a historical context (Great Gatsby, Scarlet Letter).

  5. I’m not altogether sure there’s been an increase in book-banning efforts. I’m sure, however, that there’s been an increase in reports, in part due to the increasingly educated librarians throughout the country. Gone are the days when someone who likes books can wander in and land head librarian — you need an MLS, etc., these days. And I’m pretty sure all the coursework they do includes some ethical/theoretical stuff and instruction on the First Amendment and so forth. But that’s just my opinion.

  6. I hadn’t thought about it that way. I wonder – has anyone done a historical analysis? Maybe ALA would have something. Hmmmmm…..

    I believe we are definately seeing more attempts at banning contemporary novels from high school classrooms. That’s because these books take on contemporary issues, which tend to be volatile. It’s so much easier to discuss passions and the human condition when it is set in a historical context (Great Gatsby, Scarlet Letter).

  7. I hadn’t thought about it that way. I wonder – has anyone done a historical analysis? Maybe ALA would have something. Hmmmmm…..

    I believe we are definately seeing more attempts at banning contemporary novels from high school classrooms. That’s because these books take on contemporary issues, which tend to be volatile. It’s so much easier to discuss passions and the human condition when it is set in a historical context (Great Gatsby, Scarlet Letter).

  8. I think the increase in book banning is scary. It angers me that a certain segment of the population can wield so much power–and in such a negative way. If you are so concerned about what’s in certain books, then monitor them for your own child. Or talk to them.

    This is my close brush with book banning. My 8 year-old son has to do a book project on a realistic fiction book. I have tons of children’s books, but nothing I suggested was going over. As I was searching through the shelves, I came across the Adrian Mole books. I said, “oh, those are so funny.” So naturally, he decided that’s what he wanted to read. I said, “they might be too old for you, let me talk to your dad.” We talked about it, decided they were too old and told Ben. He got very upset. I went out and bought more books, looking for funny and realistic, but nothing would do but Adrian Mole. Then I thought about it. I felt like I was censoring and I realized it was because I was afraid of talking to him about things like measuring his penis and boy/girl things. So we relented.

    He’s now on his third one and the only thing he’s asked me is if I’ve seen a copy of “Big and Bouncy” magazine. I think truly most of the things I was worried about went over his head. But it kind of scared me that I was thinking of forbidding him to read something that I think is a really great book.

    However, I would never in a million years try to forbid someone else’s children from reading anything.

    Sorry I rambled on for so long.
    Cary in VT

  9. I think the increase in book banning is scary. It angers me that a certain segment of the population can wield so much power–and in such a negative way. If you are so concerned about what’s in certain books, then monitor them for your own child. Or talk to them.

    This is my close brush with book banning. My 8 year-old son has to do a book project on a realistic fiction book. I have tons of children’s books, but nothing I suggested was going over. As I was searching through the shelves, I came across the Adrian Mole books. I said, “oh, those are so funny.” So naturally, he decided that’s what he wanted to read. I said, “they might be too old for you, let me talk to your dad.” We talked about it, decided they were too old and told Ben. He got very upset. I went out and bought more books, looking for funny and realistic, but nothing would do but Adrian Mole. Then I thought about it. I felt like I was censoring and I realized it was because I was afraid of talking to him about things like measuring his penis and boy/girl things. So we relented.

    He’s now on his third one and the only thing he’s asked me is if I’ve seen a copy of “Big and Bouncy” magazine. I think truly most of the things I was worried about went over his head. But it kind of scared me that I was thinking of forbidding him to read something that I think is a really great book.

    However, I would never in a million years try to forbid someone else’s children from reading anything.

    Sorry I rambled on for so long.
    Cary in VT

  10. I think the increase in book banning is scary. It angers me that a certain segment of the population can wield so much power–and in such a negative way. If you are so concerned about what’s in certain books, then monitor them for your own child. Or talk to them.

    This is my close brush with book banning. My 8 year-old son has to do a book project on a realistic fiction book. I have tons of children’s books, but nothing I suggested was going over. As I was searching through the shelves, I came across the Adrian Mole books. I said, “oh, those are so funny.” So naturally, he decided that’s what he wanted to read. I said, “they might be too old for you, let me talk to your dad.” We talked about it, decided they were too old and told Ben. He got very upset. I went out and bought more books, looking for funny and realistic, but nothing would do but Adrian Mole. Then I thought about it. I felt like I was censoring and I realized it was because I was afraid of talking to him about things like measuring his penis and boy/girl things. So we relented.

    He’s now on his third one and the only thing he’s asked me is if I’ve seen a copy of “Big and Bouncy” magazine. I think truly most of the things I was worried about went over his head. But it kind of scared me that I was thinking of forbidding him to read something that I think is a really great book.

    However, I would never in a million years try to forbid someone else’s children from reading anything.

    Sorry I rambled on for so long.
    Cary in VT

  11. book banning

    I think that people don’t take the time to fully read the novels that they are banning. Like the librarian in Texas you mentioned. They see the first offense and they close off the rest. The Lovely Bones is one that students are reading now in the local high school and already I hear the grumblings of the parents and I just want to scream READ THE BOOK FIRST! It is really good.

  12. book banning

    I think that people don’t take the time to fully read the novels that they are banning. Like the librarian in Texas you mentioned. They see the first offense and they close off the rest. The Lovely Bones is one that students are reading now in the local high school and already I hear the grumblings of the parents and I just want to scream READ THE BOOK FIRST! It is really good.

  13. book banning

    I think that people don’t take the time to fully read the novels that they are banning. Like the librarian in Texas you mentioned. They see the first offense and they close off the rest. The Lovely Bones is one that students are reading now in the local high school and already I hear the grumblings of the parents and I just want to scream READ THE BOOK FIRST! It is really good.

  14. What do you think about the dramatic increase in book banning efforts?

    I think that more regular folks who, if they think about it hard enough, realize they think book banning deeply unAmerican, should stand up to these censors. My husband and I fought a losing case at a private school when it banned the Harry Potter books and one of the things I found the most shocking about the experience was the fact that a lot of parents came to me with sympathetic comments, saying they agreed, were in our corner, or whatever, but they were reluctant to speak out themselves.

  15. What do you think about the dramatic increase in book banning efforts?

    I think that more regular folks who, if they think about it hard enough, realize they think book banning deeply unAmerican, should stand up to these censors. My husband and I fought a losing case at a private school when it banned the Harry Potter books and one of the things I found the most shocking about the experience was the fact that a lot of parents came to me with sympathetic comments, saying they agreed, were in our corner, or whatever, but they were reluctant to speak out themselves.

  16. What do you think about the dramatic increase in book banning efforts?

    I think that more regular folks who, if they think about it hard enough, realize they think book banning deeply unAmerican, should stand up to these censors. My husband and I fought a losing case at a private school when it banned the Harry Potter books and one of the things I found the most shocking about the experience was the fact that a lot of parents came to me with sympathetic comments, saying they agreed, were in our corner, or whatever, but they were reluctant to speak out themselves.

  17. Urrgh!

    I come from a community where if there was one reference to even the word ‘sex’ or ‘gay’, it would be blacked out with a Sharpee in the high school library. However, they never were able to black out one book called “Dance on Your Grave” because none of the librarians ever bothered to read it, assuming it was a ‘snuff’ book. The story centers on two teenage boys who have a passionate summer together and learn about love and life and death in the process. If these books are on the shelves of libraries, then books that are not that perverted and blatantly sexual, such as SPEAK and CATALYST, should be allowed on bookshelves at libraries. Thankfully, the community library, the big one, does contain copies of SPEAK and CATALYST in the Young Adult section, but you have to get permission if you are under fifteen to read it, which I fully understand. On behalf of people who believe that people have a certain piece of wood stuffed up a certain piece of their anatomy, I think SPEAK and CATALYST are books that relate to the teenage population, and if they can’t understand the powerful things that the girls in those books go through, the pain, the humour, the humiliation, and the dissapointment, then how the heck are they go to learn about it in life, if it should happen to them or to a friend to help them get through this difficult time in their lives.
    fiyero_freak

  18. Urrgh!

    I come from a community where if there was one reference to even the word ‘sex’ or ‘gay’, it would be blacked out with a Sharpee in the high school library. However, they never were able to black out one book called “Dance on Your Grave” because none of the librarians ever bothered to read it, assuming it was a ‘snuff’ book. The story centers on two teenage boys who have a passionate summer together and learn about love and life and death in the process. If these books are on the shelves of libraries, then books that are not that perverted and blatantly sexual, such as SPEAK and CATALYST, should be allowed on bookshelves at libraries. Thankfully, the community library, the big one, does contain copies of SPEAK and CATALYST in the Young Adult section, but you have to get permission if you are under fifteen to read it, which I fully understand. On behalf of people who believe that people have a certain piece of wood stuffed up a certain piece of their anatomy, I think SPEAK and CATALYST are books that relate to the teenage population, and if they can’t understand the powerful things that the girls in those books go through, the pain, the humour, the humiliation, and the dissapointment, then how the heck are they go to learn about it in life, if it should happen to them or to a friend to help them get through this difficult time in their lives.
    fiyero_freak

  19. Urrgh!

    I come from a community where if there was one reference to even the word ‘sex’ or ‘gay’, it would be blacked out with a Sharpee in the high school library. However, they never were able to black out one book called “Dance on Your Grave” because none of the librarians ever bothered to read it, assuming it was a ‘snuff’ book. The story centers on two teenage boys who have a passionate summer together and learn about love and life and death in the process. If these books are on the shelves of libraries, then books that are not that perverted and blatantly sexual, such as SPEAK and CATALYST, should be allowed on bookshelves at libraries. Thankfully, the community library, the big one, does contain copies of SPEAK and CATALYST in the Young Adult section, but you have to get permission if you are under fifteen to read it, which I fully understand. On behalf of people who believe that people have a certain piece of wood stuffed up a certain piece of their anatomy, I think SPEAK and CATALYST are books that relate to the teenage population, and if they can’t understand the powerful things that the girls in those books go through, the pain, the humour, the humiliation, and the dissapointment, then how the heck are they go to learn about it in life, if it should happen to them or to a friend to help them get through this difficult time in their lives.
    fiyero_freak

  20. I’ve looked for three years for Speak and Catalyst in our school library. Nada. Fortunately, I own a (very worn) copy of Speak, but have yet to read Catalyst. They do, however, carry Prom, which is currently on my bed next to me while I type this. My school is in a very small town, and doesn’t have a lot of kids that read, so the library is tiny, so it shouldn’t shock me that they don’t have the best choice of books(they do have the full VC Andrews collection…)Our incoming eighth graders this year were told to read the following books over the summer. Olive’s Ocean, Flipped, Tiger Rising, The Wanderer, A Child Called It, and Speak. The one with the best comments was Speak(even from the boys). Obviously, they’re not too big on censorship, if A Child Called It was assigned(and was in the middle school library my 4th year). I do however, have a censorship anecdote pertaining again, to 4th year. My best friend and I were talking about the word ‘lesbian’, and she decided to shout out “You wanna be a LESBIAN?!” to the whole class…my teacher took me aside later and told me that while it was a valid life choice, to please not say it in her classroom again. Censorship is everywhere, unfortunately. Anyone wants to read a great book about censorship(in honour of Censorship Week) check out ‘Memoirs Of A Bookbat’ by Katherine Lasky.

  21. I’ve looked for three years for Speak and Catalyst in our school library. Nada. Fortunately, I own a (very worn) copy of Speak, but have yet to read Catalyst. They do, however, carry Prom, which is currently on my bed next to me while I type this. My school is in a very small town, and doesn’t have a lot of kids that read, so the library is tiny, so it shouldn’t shock me that they don’t have the best choice of books(they do have the full VC Andrews collection…)Our incoming eighth graders this year were told to read the following books over the summer. Olive’s Ocean, Flipped, Tiger Rising, The Wanderer, A Child Called It, and Speak. The one with the best comments was Speak(even from the boys). Obviously, they’re not too big on censorship, if A Child Called It was assigned(and was in the middle school library my 4th year). I do however, have a censorship anecdote pertaining again, to 4th year. My best friend and I were talking about the word ‘lesbian’, and she decided to shout out “You wanna be a LESBIAN?!” to the whole class…my teacher took me aside later and told me that while it was a valid life choice, to please not say it in her classroom again. Censorship is everywhere, unfortunately. Anyone wants to read a great book about censorship(in honour of Censorship Week) check out ‘Memoirs Of A Bookbat’ by Katherine Lasky.

  22. I’ve looked for three years for Speak and Catalyst in our school library. Nada. Fortunately, I own a (very worn) copy of Speak, but have yet to read Catalyst. They do, however, carry Prom, which is currently on my bed next to me while I type this. My school is in a very small town, and doesn’t have a lot of kids that read, so the library is tiny, so it shouldn’t shock me that they don’t have the best choice of books(they do have the full VC Andrews collection…)Our incoming eighth graders this year were told to read the following books over the summer. Olive’s Ocean, Flipped, Tiger Rising, The Wanderer, A Child Called It, and Speak. The one with the best comments was Speak(even from the boys). Obviously, they’re not too big on censorship, if A Child Called It was assigned(and was in the middle school library my 4th year). I do however, have a censorship anecdote pertaining again, to 4th year. My best friend and I were talking about the word ‘lesbian’, and she decided to shout out “You wanna be a LESBIAN?!” to the whole class…my teacher took me aside later and told me that while it was a valid life choice, to please not say it in her classroom again. Censorship is everywhere, unfortunately. Anyone wants to read a great book about censorship(in honour of Censorship Week) check out ‘Memoirs Of A Bookbat’ by Katherine Lasky.

  23. I know. I’ve laughed about it for the past 7 years though. I hope it’s alright, Ms. Anderson, that I suggested a book here. My school has a tendency to hire some weird teachers…so, Mrs. Babb(4th grade) is excused.

  24. I know. I’ve laughed about it for the past 7 years though. I hope it’s alright, Ms. Anderson, that I suggested a book here. My school has a tendency to hire some weird teachers…so, Mrs. Babb(4th grade) is excused.

      1. oh, yayyy!
        And don’t worry about your Drivers’ License, my ID looks like I’m about twelve years old(I had bangs…)
        Speak=on tonight. yay. tivoing.
        Our school doesn’t recognize censorship week, but they did keep I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings in the library(excellent book)

  25. I know. I’ve laughed about it for the past 7 years though. I hope it’s alright, Ms. Anderson, that I suggested a book here. My school has a tendency to hire some weird teachers…so, Mrs. Babb(4th grade) is excused.

  26. oh, yayyy!
    And don’t worry about your Drivers’ License, my ID looks like I’m about twelve years old(I had bangs…)
    Speak=on tonight. yay. tivoing.
    Our school doesn’t recognize censorship week, but they did keep I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings in the library(excellent book)

  27. oh, yayyy!
    And don’t worry about your Drivers’ License, my ID looks like I’m about twelve years old(I had bangs…)
    Speak=on tonight. yay. tivoing.
    Our school doesn’t recognize censorship week, but they did keep I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings in the library(excellent book)

  28. Book Banning

    Good or Bad?

    Both…Banning a book can be good and bad. For one thing, it is bad because that is one more resource that is not willing to share some valuable information about life. In Speak and Catalyst, the plots are realistic, but some people aren’t willing to be smart and provide help for those who need it. And the good side is…more people might decide to read it because it was banned.

  29. Book Banning

    Good or Bad?

    Both…Banning a book can be good and bad. For one thing, it is bad because that is one more resource that is not willing to share some valuable information about life. In Speak and Catalyst, the plots are realistic, but some people aren’t willing to be smart and provide help for those who need it. And the good side is…more people might decide to read it because it was banned.

  30. Book Banning

    Good or Bad?

    Both…Banning a book can be good and bad. For one thing, it is bad because that is one more resource that is not willing to share some valuable information about life. In Speak and Catalyst, the plots are realistic, but some people aren’t willing to be smart and provide help for those who need it. And the good side is…more people might decide to read it because it was banned.

  31. Book banning is pretty ridiculous, if you ask me, especially because a lot of the books that are being banned don’t deserve it. In a comment above you said that Catalyst has been banned because it has swear words.. so is every book with swear words in it going to be banned now? That would be a lot of books.

  32. Book banning is pretty ridiculous, if you ask me, especially because a lot of the books that are being banned don’t deserve it. In a comment above you said that Catalyst has been banned because it has swear words.. so is every book with swear words in it going to be banned now? That would be a lot of books.

  33. Book banning is pretty ridiculous, if you ask me, especially because a lot of the books that are being banned don’t deserve it. In a comment above you said that Catalyst has been banned because it has swear words.. so is every book with swear words in it going to be banned now? That would be a lot of books.

  34. I postively despise censorship. We had to do a persuasive speech last year for our eleventh-grade final, and I chose why people shouldn’t ban books. I did all kinds of research, and it’s sickening the kind of reasons people give for banning books. I honestly don’t know why anyone would want to live in a world without our favorite characters- that’s no kind of life at all! Besides, I learned the most about growing up from the most controversial books- my eighth grade teacher said “Who cares about the system, we’re reading what I say.” I loved her to death. We read To Kill A Mockingbird, Speak, and about five other ‘controversial books’ in her class. And they remain my favorite books to this day.
    Gah, sorry about the rambling!

  35. I postively despise censorship. We had to do a persuasive speech last year for our eleventh-grade final, and I chose why people shouldn’t ban books. I did all kinds of research, and it’s sickening the kind of reasons people give for banning books. I honestly don’t know why anyone would want to live in a world without our favorite characters- that’s no kind of life at all! Besides, I learned the most about growing up from the most controversial books- my eighth grade teacher said “Who cares about the system, we’re reading what I say.” I loved her to death. We read To Kill A Mockingbird, Speak, and about five other ‘controversial books’ in her class. And they remain my favorite books to this day.
    Gah, sorry about the rambling!

    1. Last year (my freshmen year) we read To Kill A Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet, and Animal Farm which had all been on the ban list for several years. And this year we just finshed reading Farinhiet 451 which was also a book on the banning list.

  36. I postively despise censorship. We had to do a persuasive speech last year for our eleventh-grade final, and I chose why people shouldn’t ban books. I did all kinds of research, and it’s sickening the kind of reasons people give for banning books. I honestly don’t know why anyone would want to live in a world without our favorite characters- that’s no kind of life at all! Besides, I learned the most about growing up from the most controversial books- my eighth grade teacher said “Who cares about the system, we’re reading what I say.” I loved her to death. We read To Kill A Mockingbird, Speak, and about five other ‘controversial books’ in her class. And they remain my favorite books to this day.
    Gah, sorry about the rambling!

  37. I think it’s pointless to ban books. Some books can really teach you about life. Some people say that they don’t want their kids reading books that have certain contents in them but yet when their kids go home and turn on the news they’re hearing and seeing worst things going on in the world.

    In a way books help us prepare for what could happen in the world or what is happening.

  38. I think it’s pointless to ban books. Some books can really teach you about life. Some people say that they don’t want their kids reading books that have certain contents in them but yet when their kids go home and turn on the news they’re hearing and seeing worst things going on in the world.

    In a way books help us prepare for what could happen in the world or what is happening.

  39. I think it’s pointless to ban books. Some books can really teach you about life. Some people say that they don’t want their kids reading books that have certain contents in them but yet when their kids go home and turn on the news they’re hearing and seeing worst things going on in the world.

    In a way books help us prepare for what could happen in the world or what is happening.

  40. Last year (my freshmen year) we read To Kill A Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet, and Animal Farm which had all been on the ban list for several years. And this year we just finshed reading Farinhiet 451 which was also a book on the banning list.

  41. Last year (my freshmen year) we read To Kill A Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet, and Animal Farm which had all been on the ban list for several years. And this year we just finshed reading Farinhiet 451 which was also a book on the banning list.

  42. I don’t agree with banning books. Most banned books, such as your book “Speak”, just bring out real life issues in the world and inform us. So what if there are a couple of cuss words.. not like we don’t hear them everyday. At our school all honors sophomore english classes write a project on a banned book, I did “Catcher in the Rye” which I thought was interesing.. but banning it was just going a bit far.

    PS-I love your books and all of Chris Crutcher’s!!!!

  43. I don’t agree with banning books. Most banned books, such as your book “Speak”, just bring out real life issues in the world and inform us. So what if there are a couple of cuss words.. not like we don’t hear them everyday. At our school all honors sophomore english classes write a project on a banned book, I did “Catcher in the Rye” which I thought was interesing.. but banning it was just going a bit far.

    PS-I love your books and all of Chris Crutcher’s!!!!

  44. I don’t agree with banning books. Most banned books, such as your book “Speak”, just bring out real life issues in the world and inform us. So what if there are a couple of cuss words.. not like we don’t hear them everyday. At our school all honors sophomore english classes write a project on a banned book, I did “Catcher in the Rye” which I thought was interesing.. but banning it was just going a bit far.

    PS-I love your books and all of Chris Crutcher’s!!!!

  45. I agree with what has been said: banning books is just crazy and stupid. They are such a good source of information and allow young people to engage and expand their minds.
    My eleventh grade honors english teacher had us reaing some amazing books such as: To Kill A Mockingbird, Great Gatsby, The Adventures of Huck Finn, The Crucible, The Scarlet Letter, The Grapes of Wrath, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and Farenheit 451. He was the coolest english teacher I’ve ever had. He always had us reading against the grain and “hunkering down” with everything we read. It was the best class.

    “Farinhiet 451 which was also a book on the banning list.”
    Interesting how a book about banning books is on the banning list.

    ~Little Quirk

  46. I agree with what has been said: banning books is just crazy and stupid. They are such a good source of information and allow young people to engage and expand their minds.
    My eleventh grade honors english teacher had us reaing some amazing books such as: To Kill A Mockingbird, Great Gatsby, The Adventures of Huck Finn, The Crucible, The Scarlet Letter, The Grapes of Wrath, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and Farenheit 451. He was the coolest english teacher I’ve ever had. He always had us reading against the grain and “hunkering down” with everything we read. It was the best class.

    “Farinhiet 451 which was also a book on the banning list.”
    Interesting how a book about banning books is on the banning list.

    ~Little Quirk

  47. I agree with what has been said: banning books is just crazy and stupid. They are such a good source of information and allow young people to engage and expand their minds.
    My eleventh grade honors english teacher had us reaing some amazing books such as: To Kill A Mockingbird, Great Gatsby, The Adventures of Huck Finn, The Crucible, The Scarlet Letter, The Grapes of Wrath, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and Farenheit 451. He was the coolest english teacher I’ve ever had. He always had us reading against the grain and “hunkering down” with everything we read. It was the best class.

    “Farinhiet 451 which was also a book on the banning list.”
    Interesting how a book about banning books is on the banning list.

    ~Little Quirk

  48. I can’t believe you’re speaking at my local library (Onondaga) when I’ve just moved away from town for the first time! GO YOU. I’m bummed I’ll miss the opportunity to see you, but it’ll be good for those who CAN make it. Rock on Laurie. You go!

    As for banning books, the simple answer is that it’s crap. I feel that people fear books (particularly fiction) because they offer representations of myriads of human experiences. This forces individuals to reckon, I think, with the vastness of the world around them–and its truly unsettled, always-changing reality. This is scary. When people get scared they try to pretend everything is all right. A good example of this is anyone who wants to pretend gay folk are psychological aberrations. Shove it away, ban it, write it off as a disorder… and you can pretend “everything” is “all right” when in actuality it never has been. “All right” is for that ancient ideal of Eden. And no matter how hard people try to prove (via genetics, archaeology, whatever) that “Eden does exist! Right in the heart of Africa!”… they still can’t erase the fact that shit happens–primarily that our comfort zones get routinely punctured every single day and this is hard but it is the truth. Life, suffering, challenges exist in all corners of the world, in all aspects of human existence. Ignoring this takes a lot of effort.

    Have you read any of Alice Walker’s essays on when The Color Purple was banned? They’re pretty interesting. People objected to the discussion of rape and sex in that text. Interestingly enough, Celie is also a character who is young and confused on the heels of rape. She experiences her own variation of silence via the secret letters she writes to God.

    The essay title is: “Coming In From The Cold: Welcoming the Old, Funny-Talking Ancient Ones Into The Warm Room Of Present Consciousness, Or, Natty Dread Rides Again!” It can be found in the collection of essays entitled Living By The Word.

    Keep us posted on how your talk at the Library turns out!!!! Again, I’m so bummed I can’t make it!!

    Peace,
    Patrick

  49. I can’t believe you’re speaking at my local library (Onondaga) when I’ve just moved away from town for the first time! GO YOU. I’m bummed I’ll miss the opportunity to see you, but it’ll be good for those who CAN make it. Rock on Laurie. You go!

    As for banning books, the simple answer is that it’s crap. I feel that people fear books (particularly fiction) because they offer representations of myriads of human experiences. This forces individuals to reckon, I think, with the vastness of the world around them–and its truly unsettled, always-changing reality. This is scary. When people get scared they try to pretend everything is all right. A good example of this is anyone who wants to pretend gay folk are psychological aberrations. Shove it away, ban it, write it off as a disorder… and you can pretend “everything” is “all right” when in actuality it never has been. “All right” is for that ancient ideal of Eden. And no matter how hard people try to prove (via genetics, archaeology, whatever) that “Eden does exist! Right in the heart of Africa!”… they still can’t erase the fact that shit happens–primarily that our comfort zones get routinely punctured every single day and this is hard but it is the truth. Life, suffering, challenges exist in all corners of the world, in all aspects of human existence. Ignoring this takes a lot of effort.

    Have you read any of Alice Walker’s essays on when The Color Purple was banned? They’re pretty interesting. People objected to the discussion of rape and sex in that text. Interestingly enough, Celie is also a character who is young and confused on the heels of rape. She experiences her own variation of silence via the secret letters she writes to God.

    The essay title is: “Coming In From The Cold: Welcoming the Old, Funny-Talking Ancient Ones Into The Warm Room Of Present Consciousness, Or, Natty Dread Rides Again!” It can be found in the collection of essays entitled Living By The Word.

    Keep us posted on how your talk at the Library turns out!!!! Again, I’m so bummed I can’t make it!!

    Peace,
    Patrick

  50. I can’t believe you’re speaking at my local library (Onondaga) when I’ve just moved away from town for the first time! GO YOU. I’m bummed I’ll miss the opportunity to see you, but it’ll be good for those who CAN make it. Rock on Laurie. You go!

    As for banning books, the simple answer is that it’s crap. I feel that people fear books (particularly fiction) because they offer representations of myriads of human experiences. This forces individuals to reckon, I think, with the vastness of the world around them–and its truly unsettled, always-changing reality. This is scary. When people get scared they try to pretend everything is all right. A good example of this is anyone who wants to pretend gay folk are psychological aberrations. Shove it away, ban it, write it off as a disorder… and you can pretend “everything” is “all right” when in actuality it never has been. “All right” is for that ancient ideal of Eden. And no matter how hard people try to prove (via genetics, archaeology, whatever) that “Eden does exist! Right in the heart of Africa!”… they still can’t erase the fact that shit happens–primarily that our comfort zones get routinely punctured every single day and this is hard but it is the truth. Life, suffering, challenges exist in all corners of the world, in all aspects of human existence. Ignoring this takes a lot of effort.

    Have you read any of Alice Walker’s essays on when The Color Purple was banned? They’re pretty interesting. People objected to the discussion of rape and sex in that text. Interestingly enough, Celie is also a character who is young and confused on the heels of rape. She experiences her own variation of silence via the secret letters she writes to God.

    The essay title is: “Coming In From The Cold: Welcoming the Old, Funny-Talking Ancient Ones Into The Warm Room Of Present Consciousness, Or, Natty Dread Rides Again!” It can be found in the collection of essays entitled Living By The Word.

    Keep us posted on how your talk at the Library turns out!!!! Again, I’m so bummed I can’t make it!!

    Peace,
    Patrick

  51. Some of the reasons are not valid. At all.

    Catalyst is banned because it contains swear words. Wow.
    Welcome to reality. Would you like a table for one?

    Speak contains sex references. Rape is NOT a sex reference. It’s a traumatizing event that is so misinterpreted. Also, not all of us are that sheltered to know what sex is. What was health class for, then?

    About the increase of banning books — it’s stupid & pointless. It makes us want to read them more. One example — The Giver. It was banned. I didn’t care. I read it. I scowled at some of the librarians (OK, so I can get mean).

    I know one high school in Texas that doesn’t have PROM on the shelves. The librarian explained to me that she couldn’t have it in her school because the main character is disrespectful to her parents, stays out on a school night drinking, and has sex with her boyfriend. I pointed out to her that the main character’s life was in the toilet, and these behaviors were evidence of that, and the book was about how she pulls here life together.

  52. Some of the reasons are not valid. At all.

    Catalyst is banned because it contains swear words. Wow.
    Welcome to reality. Would you like a table for one?

    Speak contains sex references. Rape is NOT a sex reference. It’s a traumatizing event that is so misinterpreted. Also, not all of us are that sheltered to know what sex is. What was health class for, then?

    About the increase of banning books — it’s stupid & pointless. It makes us want to read them more. One example — The Giver. It was banned. I didn’t care. I read it. I scowled at some of the librarians (OK, so I can get mean).

    I know one high school in Texas that doesn’t have PROM on the shelves. The librarian explained to me that she couldn’t have it in her school because the main character is disrespectful to her parents, stays out on a school night drinking, and has sex with her boyfriend. I pointed out to her that the main character’s life was in the toilet, and these behaviors were evidence of that, and the book was about how she pulls here life together.

    1. Gah, I accidentally submitted!

      Anyway, my point about PROM. What I really hate is when people pass their morals of whether or not books are allowed to be read. I don’t know about that librarian, but I have met some who had banned books “because I found them wrong.”

      Well, that’s wonderful. But guess what? You may think it’s wrong, but whoever said that I or someone else would?

      Of course, I know my argument has many plotholes, but oh well. It’s my turn to rant. And rant I shall end.

  53. Some of the reasons are not valid. At all.

    Catalyst is banned because it contains swear words. Wow.
    Welcome to reality. Would you like a table for one?

    Speak contains sex references. Rape is NOT a sex reference. It’s a traumatizing event that is so misinterpreted. Also, not all of us are that sheltered to know what sex is. What was health class for, then?

    About the increase of banning books — it’s stupid & pointless. It makes us want to read them more. One example — The Giver. It was banned. I didn’t care. I read it. I scowled at some of the librarians (OK, so I can get mean).

    I know one high school in Texas that doesn’t have PROM on the shelves. The librarian explained to me that she couldn’t have it in her school because the main character is disrespectful to her parents, stays out on a school night drinking, and has sex with her boyfriend. I pointed out to her that the main character’s life was in the toilet, and these behaviors were evidence of that, and the book was about how she pulls here life together.

  54. Gah, I accidentally submitted!

    Anyway, my point about PROM. What I really hate is when people pass their morals of whether or not books are allowed to be read. I don’t know about that librarian, but I have met some who had banned books “because I found them wrong.”

    Well, that’s wonderful. But guess what? You may think it’s wrong, but whoever said that I or someone else would?

    Of course, I know my argument has many plotholes, but oh well. It’s my turn to rant. And rant I shall end.

  55. Gah, I accidentally submitted!

    Anyway, my point about PROM. What I really hate is when people pass their morals of whether or not books are allowed to be read. I don’t know about that librarian, but I have met some who had banned books “because I found them wrong.”

    Well, that’s wonderful. But guess what? You may think it’s wrong, but whoever said that I or someone else would?

    Of course, I know my argument has many plotholes, but oh well. It’s my turn to rant. And rant I shall end.

  56. I am very opinionated about this topic and have a tendency to rant about it.

    SO I will apologize in advance if I succumb to logorrhea.

    First of all, I have a problem with other people dictating what another person’s child should or should not be reading based on someone else’s political, spiritual and moral belief.

    Secondly haven’t history proven itself already to the people intending to ban books that Books that are banned are more than twice likely to be read anyway, because it is all the more tempting to read when it is deemed TABOO and Forbidden? It’s like flashing neon lights.

    A third point here is that most books that are and have been placed in the banned book list do not deserve to be there. They were placed there by people who have different agendas trying to prevent people from receiving information that could sway them to have a different opinion.

    My fourth and Final point is (I am sparring you the rant LOL so this will be a short one from my normally LONGER stance lol) SPEAK should NOT be banned! This is a great book for all Teenagers and Young readers to read. From personal experience and friends’ personal experience I wish we allcould have read this book when we were still in highschool or gradeschool. Because it would have taught us some information and perhaps influenced us to make different choices than we have made in the past. My bestfriend (who was raped in highschool read the book and reccommended it to me) told me that this book has helped her externalize her pain and has led her to verbalize what has happened to her in the past. She like Melinda and like many girls in highschool I knew thought of Rape as this “Dirty Secret” because it shamed them to tell someone that they have been violated. It is even harder to tell other people when the person who has raped them was a person they thought they loved or thought that they invited that kind of attention from.
    Truth of the matter is rapists are NOT confined to strangers “lurking in the bushes” waiting to attack vulnerable victims. And I believe that this book is one example of that. And this kind of information should never be banned!

    Also as a side note, as the country is beginning to be more and more conservative, alot of young kids are lacking in education that can protect them in the future.

  57. I am very opinionated about this topic and have a tendency to rant about it.

    SO I will apologize in advance if I succumb to logorrhea.

    First of all, I have a problem with other people dictating what another person’s child should or should not be reading based on someone else’s political, spiritual and moral belief.

    Secondly haven’t history proven itself already to the people intending to ban books that Books that are banned are more than twice likely to be read anyway, because it is all the more tempting to read when it is deemed TABOO and Forbidden? It’s like flashing neon lights.

    A third point here is that most books that are and have been placed in the banned book list do not deserve to be there. They were placed there by people who have different agendas trying to prevent people from receiving information that could sway them to have a different opinion.

    My fourth and Final point is (I am sparring you the rant LOL so this will be a short one from my normally LONGER stance lol) SPEAK should NOT be banned! This is a great book for all Teenagers and Young readers to read. From personal experience and friends’ personal experience I wish we allcould have read this book when we were still in highschool or gradeschool. Because it would have taught us some information and perhaps influenced us to make different choices than we have made in the past. My bestfriend (who was raped in highschool read the book and reccommended it to me) told me that this book has helped her externalize her pain and has led her to verbalize what has happened to her in the past. She like Melinda and like many girls in highschool I knew thought of Rape as this “Dirty Secret” because it shamed them to tell someone that they have been violated. It is even harder to tell other people when the person who has raped them was a person they thought they loved or thought that they invited that kind of attention from.
    Truth of the matter is rapists are NOT confined to strangers “lurking in the bushes” waiting to attack vulnerable victims. And I believe that this book is one example of that. And this kind of information should never be banned!

    Also as a side note, as the country is beginning to be more and more conservative, alot of young kids are lacking in education that can protect them in the future.

    1. Re: I am very opinionated about this topic and have a tendency to rant about it.

      I really dont agree,at all with the whole-book banning. A writer should be able to exspress themselves without someone saying”You cant say that, it’s wrong” it’s not giveing any credit to the author nor the reader. It’s like trying to make everything simple, well life isint simple. You cant lump everything to two catergorys”right” and “wrong”. I loved Speak! I think alot of people could benfit from reading it. It’s sad that alot of teens wont be able to read it now.

  58. I am very opinionated about this topic and have a tendency to rant about it.

    SO I will apologize in advance if I succumb to logorrhea.

    First of all, I have a problem with other people dictating what another person’s child should or should not be reading based on someone else’s political, spiritual and moral belief.

    Secondly haven’t history proven itself already to the people intending to ban books that Books that are banned are more than twice likely to be read anyway, because it is all the more tempting to read when it is deemed TABOO and Forbidden? It’s like flashing neon lights.

    A third point here is that most books that are and have been placed in the banned book list do not deserve to be there. They were placed there by people who have different agendas trying to prevent people from receiving information that could sway them to have a different opinion.

    My fourth and Final point is (I am sparring you the rant LOL so this will be a short one from my normally LONGER stance lol) SPEAK should NOT be banned! This is a great book for all Teenagers and Young readers to read. From personal experience and friends’ personal experience I wish we allcould have read this book when we were still in highschool or gradeschool. Because it would have taught us some information and perhaps influenced us to make different choices than we have made in the past. My bestfriend (who was raped in highschool read the book and reccommended it to me) told me that this book has helped her externalize her pain and has led her to verbalize what has happened to her in the past. She like Melinda and like many girls in highschool I knew thought of Rape as this “Dirty Secret” because it shamed them to tell someone that they have been violated. It is even harder to tell other people when the person who has raped them was a person they thought they loved or thought that they invited that kind of attention from.
    Truth of the matter is rapists are NOT confined to strangers “lurking in the bushes” waiting to attack vulnerable victims. And I believe that this book is one example of that. And this kind of information should never be banned!

    Also as a side note, as the country is beginning to be more and more conservative, alot of young kids are lacking in education that can protect them in the future.

  59. Re: I am very opinionated about this topic and have a tendency to rant about it.

    I really dont agree,at all with the whole-book banning. A writer should be able to exspress themselves without someone saying”You cant say that, it’s wrong” it’s not giveing any credit to the author nor the reader. It’s like trying to make everything simple, well life isint simple. You cant lump everything to two catergorys”right” and “wrong”. I loved Speak! I think alot of people could benfit from reading it. It’s sad that alot of teens wont be able to read it now.

  60. Re: I am very opinionated about this topic and have a tendency to rant about it.

    I really dont agree,at all with the whole-book banning. A writer should be able to exspress themselves without someone saying”You cant say that, it’s wrong” it’s not giveing any credit to the author nor the reader. It’s like trying to make everything simple, well life isint simple. You cant lump everything to two catergorys”right” and “wrong”. I loved Speak! I think alot of people could benfit from reading it. It’s sad that alot of teens wont be able to read it now.

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