Today I welcome back YA author J.A. Campbell. J.A. has become one of my favorite authors and we chat on Twitter so I asked her to help with Banned Book Week and she kindly wrote the following post.
J.A. writes fantasy novels. Several are even published (and have been reviewed on here). When she’s not out riding her horse, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer with a cat on her lap and her dog at her side.
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Ban my book. I dare you.
I have a confession to make. I hope that one day I have a book on the banned books list. Why? The company I would be keeping is excellent. Amazing books have been banned or challenged over the years. Books such as Of Mice and Men, Harry Potter, The Bible, The Golden Compass, The catcher in the Rye, The Lord of the Flies, and 1984 to name a few. Some of these books, The Lord of the Flies in this list, I even read for class.
Having said that, I really don’t like the idea of banned books. The thought that a bunch of people can take a book and say that this can’t go on bookshelves and people can’t have free access to it makes me angry. I do understand that elementary and middle schools and to some degree high schools shouldn’t have things like harlequin romances on their shelves, but stories like Harry Potter? Harry Potter is not only the boy who lived, he’s the boy who got thousands of reluctant readers to line up at book release parties waiting for their chance to get the next book in the series. What is so bad about kids reading? Could it make them think? That’s scary… And you don’t have to ban the romance to keep it off the school library shelves, just trust the librarian to buy age appropriate material.
To me it seems like a lot of the books that get challenged are challenged because they actually make people think and feel, and get people to want to read more. What’s so bad about people thinking and reading? It might give them ideas? Oooh, that’s scary too.
On the other hand, the banned book list makes for some great reading. I guess if people want to continue challenging good literature and bringing it to the attention of people who might never read it otherwise, that’s okay. I do like how people the world over have taken a huge negative, banned books, and turned it into a positive – essentially making the idea of banned books as public as possible so that more people have access to them.
Please, go out and read a banned book, or three… all the ones I’ve read are really good.