here. Basically a librarian questioned the appearance and the author's suitability for her students and the festival un-invited her. In response, many of the other authors appearing have pulled out of the festival.
Censorship is unacceptable and they are right to refuse to support any body, in this case the Humble School Distric, that would allow it. It's the responsibility of parents to monitor what their children have access to, not librarians or teachers or anyone else. If you don't want your teenager reading a certain book, then it's up to you as a parent to enforce that. It is not a decision that should be made by anyone else (hence the "Think for yourself and let others do the same" slogan for Banned Books Week this year).
Still I couldn't help but think of the upcoming festivals I'm going to (Decatur Book Festival in two weeks, National Book Festival in September, and Southern Festival of Books in October). If something like this were to happen at one of them and the other authors pulled out I would be devastated. I would understand their decision and support their stand, but I have to say I would be so disappointed to miss out on the opportunity to hear them and meet them and get my books signed. The selfish part of me would feel like I as a fan was being punished for a bad decision made by the festival hosts.
The bad publicity being generated by the press coverage and the statement being made (that censorship will not be tolerated) is surely good for the cause. And while I think their decision is the right one to make,I feel for the teen readers (and adult readers) who are disappointed to hear that those they were excited to see won't be there. I would also love to see all of the authors show up at the festival and use their time as an opportunity to denounce censorship to those in attendance. Wouldn't that be something to hear? I'm sure there are reasons that are much better thought out for why this isn't possible. But I still want to hear it.
The good news for me is that these authors aren't just pulling out of the festival - they are making a statement through their blogs. Take some time to read them and Ellen Hopkins herself on this issue. And if you've blogged about it, I'd love to link to your post as well. Leave a comment or drop me an email!
Ellen Hopkins who also addresses the disappointment of the teens here
Melissa de la Cruz
Pete Hautman (I like his article, but I don't appreciate his opening comments. In a post on censorship, it's awkward to open with "nasty" ideas and beliefs you wish would "go away". Being against censorship means making all information and ideas available to the public, not just the ones you like or that are PC)
Tera Lynn Childs (who makes an excellent argument against everything I wrote about disappointing the teens)
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books