September 22-28th marks Banned Book Week this year. Banned Book Week was started to counteract the surging numbers of books that are challenged or banned. I am a firm believer that there are certain truths and realities to which children do not need to be exposed via literature, especially at the ages at which exposure commonly takes place nowadays. That is why, when I write for children, I write material that I feel is age appropriate. I also feel that there is some writing which contributes nothing positive to society and that I don't even find particularly well-done or entertaining (erhem "Twilight" and "50 Shades of Gray" come to mind). That being said, I despise the banning of books. I think that the job of censorship falls to oneself and, in the case of children, to their parents. After all, we know what we like and what we can handle. (However, I do suggest that you read books, often, outside of your comfort zone. They can open you up to a world of great conversation and discussion, and occasionally a new perspective.) However, when books start being pulled off of library and bookstore shelves, we start a slippery slope in which we rob our culture of so many things of value. Travel with me this month, and you will see what I mean.
Every day in the month of September, I will be writing a post about one of the Top 100 Challenged Books, giving a synopsis of the book and reasons that it is challenged. I will then be posting a writing prompt encouraging you to write your own short story that contains some of the offensive elements. Post a link to your blog or website in the comments, so we can read your contributions, and please share this event. I hope you will join me in this challenge celebrating the right to read!