So yesterday was the final day of the Banned Books Week that ran from 30th of september up to the 6th of october. To be honest its the first time I have heard of it ^__^ hehe, but lots of blogs and websites have been putting up various lists of books that libraries around the world have been banning or books that have had people petitioning to have banned by concerned and disgruntled people who feel the content within the aforementioned books is something that should be censored or witheld from the reaches of our young fledgling book worms.
Okaaay! Well thats fine I suppose, Im not against the protection of our children’s minds when it comes to certain subject matter, should they accidentally come across 50 Shades of Grey for instance in the school library and start to ask mom and dad what anal fisting is and can they try it…
But what surprised me was that while reading many of these lists, many of them have titles on their are really quite harmless and I was perplexed by the unexpected books to appear on them. For instance there were titles that were shocking to see on a banned book list, titles that were understandable as to why it could be but ones that I wouldn’t have put onto the list and some that were your usual obvious ones that you might expect to see.
Surprising banned books
James and the Giant Peach
Harriet the Spy
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
I mean really? After seeing some of the books on the banned books list above, I started to wonder what the hell my book would be placed on. I have mentioned the level and use of violence in my story before in other posts, and the book will cover and make comment on very dark and complex themes. So if James and the giant peach is a highly challenged book then what chance does a story like mine have in being stocked in libraries around the world?
At first I thought I did not really care, but then I thought maybe I should be responsible for the type of content that I choose to put out there. Especially if it becomes famous and successful then it doesn’t matter who stocks it, as inevitably kids will get a copy no matter what, to want to see what all the fuss is about.
should we be responsible for what we choose to discuss?
Dont get wrong My book wouldn’t have violence in it for the sake of violence or entertainment and My aim is to tell the story in an artistic way , similar to way a director implies a graphic or violent action without even showing the actual act, say someone getting stabbed, but you dont see the knife entering the flesh at all, as the stab happens below the frame of the screen for example.
I suppose the other thing to remember is that not everyone will like what you create guys there will be people who hate your work, religious zealots who condemn what you write despite it having a deep and meaningful message behind it. You can never please everyone I guess, so just choose who it is that you want to connect with in your storytelling.