Wednesday, January 28, 2009
My My My, Lauren Myracle and Censorship
I was very lucky to be able to attend the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting in Denver last week. By far, the best part of my trip was attending the Freedom To Read Foundation's Fundraiser featuring Lauren Myracle. (It was there that I learned that her name is pronounced Myracle, not Miracle.)
Lauren spoke about the censorship and challenging of her books. Many adults across the country have challenged or banned her books, because they tend to deal with themes of sexuality, and have some swearing in them. At the fundraiser, Lauren read some angry emails she has received from parents. Parents called her books "evil, disgusting, filthy, and awful," and even referred to Lauren as "Satan."
TTYL was on the list of Most Frequently Challenged Books in 2007, and has recently been banned at the Round Rock Independent School District near Austin, Texas. The superintendent of the school district removed all copies of the book from the library, despite that fact that two committees reviewed the book and found it suitable for the library.
It is important to remember that librarians face book and material challenges on a daily basis, and we do our best to protect the First Amendment rights of teens.
If you'd like to send Lauren a little email of support or encouragement, please do so here.
I read banned books,
P.S. The photo above is of a two-story tall bear sculpture outside of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. It doesn't have much to do with Lauren Myracle, but I thought it was awesome, and she was awesome, so there you go.