With the popular success of "Fifty Shades of Grey," I would have thought the issues of banned books were a problem of the past. Not so. Did you know Suzanne Collins's popular "Hunger Games" trilogy was challenged last year? Why? Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence. Though I haven't read it, yet, I've loaded the book on my Kindle, and recently saw the movie. And, unless the book is hugely different from the movie, I don't recall any occult or Satan worship taking place. Violence? Yeah, okay, maybe.
In 2010 Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight" was challenged. Why? Reasons: religious viewpoint and violence. Well, the story does involve vampires, which are fictional creatures of the night who, according to some legends, have been abandoned by God, so perhaps some readers might take exception to the subject matter. But why ban the book?
According to the American Library Association (ALA), "the ALA promotes the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinions, even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular, and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those viewpoints to all who wish to read them."
"A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. It is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials."
"Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice."
I fully support the need to protect the innocence of children, which is admittedly difficult in today's culture where nothing is considered "off limits" or "private." Not even the Duchess of Cambridge's attempt to sunbathe privately. So, perhaps certain books should only be made available to young, inquisitive minds with their parents' permission. I'm not certain how best to handle the problem, I just know that book banning to me equates to the book burning that took place in the novel "Fahrenheit 451". An activity I consider criminally offensive.
I write sexy, spicy and erotic books, so I am not a proponent of censorship in any form. Even so, I wouldn't want anyone under 18 picking up and reading one of my books if their parents didn't approve. If the person is eighteen or older, I consider them old-enough to make their own decisions as to what they like to read.
So, what I personally intend to do is read at least one of the banned books in protest. And I sincerely hope you do the same.
For more information on Banned Book Week, please visit: