Banned Books Week: I wonder how it feels to be…

The number one most banned book in America?

Lets see what Lauren Myracle says! In 2009 her ttyl series was the most banned.

First, check out this awesome blog post, which in her own words sums everything up better than I ever could.

In this article she wrote , she talks about how hard it is that many of the people who want to ban her books call her satan and all sorts of horrible things, when she’s a christian just like most of them:

Sometimes it’s just plain scary to say out loud what I believe in–or to wear a charming and tiny silver cross to signify what I believe in–even though that’s what intellectual freedom is all about.

And yet, my book-loving peeps, what better time to take the plunge than during Banned Books Week, a time to celebrate intellectual freedom in all its glorious forms? So here goes. Yes, I am… um… a faith-based person. In fact–gulp–I’m a Christian. As a Christian, I believe that intellectual freedom is essential if we’re to lead meaningful, purpose-driven lives.

Now for an added layer of texture that I suspect won’t come as a surprise: like me, most of the would-be book banners are also Christians. I say that based on experience, because so many of the angry adults who contact me make it a point to identify themselves as such. They are Christians; therefore, they are good. I am surely a heathen to be writing about gay marriage and tampons; therefore, I am bad. That seems to be their message, whether implied or overtly stated.

But as theologian Krista Tippett so beautifully puts it, “Faith is as much about questions as it is about answers.” That’s true of books as well, don’t you think? Books provide access to multiple points of view, encouraging readers to ask themselves, “Do I agree? Do I disagree? Does this make my heart soar, or does it make me cringe? If I cringe… why? If my heart soars… why?”

As I see it, that’s a book’s gift to the world as well, and just as every song won’t do it for every listener, every book won’t do it for every reader. Sure. Fine. But as long as we don’t limit our options, every reader can find a book that sings to her.

Faith is as much about questions as it is about answers, and though there are indeed truths I feel certain about–love a lot, laugh a lot, don’t ban books–I need to probe deeper regarding the issues that make me uncomfortable. Specifically, I need to keep asking myself–regardless of the situation, regardless of whom I’m with–whether I’m living authentically or if in fact I’m censoring myself, padding faint-heartedly along the easy path of “us” versus “them.”

BTW, this is Lauren Myracle. I can just imagine all the filthy, horrible things she has to write. 🙂

Seriously, when I listened to one of her talks, she had her son in the audience, who is 11 or 12 and he could care less what she had to say. He was just doing homework or something.

She did talk about how the parents were outraged at some of the things she talked about: homosexuality, body parts, kissing, drinking (alcohol) among other things.  She said that she gets tons of letters and emails from parents who are angry about what she writes…


She also gets tons and tons of emails and letters from teens who absolutely LOVE her books because she gets how they feel. They feel that there’s at least one adult in the universe that’s not going to make them feel small or stupid and that someone understands their concerns.



About kitkat

I'm a teen services librarian in Chili (pronounced Chai-Lie) New York with a passion for engaging teens in the love of reading, libraries and having fun!
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