Authors, Schools, and Censorship

I was reading an article about an author that got disinvited from a public school which also referenced other incidents. One other incident in which Phil Bildner was disinvited for “comments” (and possibly a recommendation/reference to a book called George by Alex Gino) made me think about how positive books that deal with hard social issues can help kids become more tolerant, understanding, knowledgeable adults. If George had been around a few decades ago and been embraced then, we wouldn’t have discriminatory regulations like HB2 (a NC law) and  instead more appropriate, inclusive legislation like the Charlotte City Ordinance which HB2 proposes to terminate (a good article that explains what the ordinance and what HB2 are and  what both sides of the fight were saying is here.)

Author R.J. Palacio (Wonder author) wrote a letter to the school system that disinvited Phil Bildner in defense of Bildner and positive literature on hard topics. Here’s the link to the letter.

I don’t write YA or middle stories (stories for kids), but I do remember reading lots of books when I was a kid. Now I appreciate authors like Ezra Jack Keats and Judy Blume more. Their books showed me that society isn’t all male, white, and without problems. Partly due to their books, I feel like I can function and be productive in this society. Censoring to shield kids from differing points of view limits kids and their potential for adaptation and acceptance (sometimes self-acceptance).