Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Banned Books

Ugh so college life is totally getting in the way of my blogging/writing stuff. But I promised a banned book post and you’re going to get it.

I was thirteen when I first heard of the musical Wicked. I was obsessed with it but I never saw the show. I told my mom about it and she said she’ll buy tickets for Christmas. I don’t remember every detail, but I remember buying the book. I read about fifty pages and decided to I start flipping through the pages and looked at the pictures before each section. All of a sudden I see a naked shadow and I started freaking out. So I turned to the next couple of pages and saw a SEX SCENE. I was freaking out. I was thirteen and I didn’t know what sex really was, but I knew it was in that book and I was too young to read the book. So I went to my basement and put the book in a box. I still wanted to see the show so I didn’t tell my mother.

Weeks later my mom and I were carpooling with my teammate and her mom to a volleyball game. We were talking about musicals or something in the car and mom brought up Wicked. She told her I was reading the book and how I wanted to see the show. My teammate’s mother went crazy. She told my mother how she couldn’t finish it because it was like pornography. Once again I was thirteen and didn’t know what to say but the truth. I told her that I knew about the sex scenes and how I put the book away until I was old enough to read it. Needless to say I didn't get to see the musical.

When it comes to censorship I believe that the reader’s maturity it the only obstacle. I think it’s up to the reader to decide if the content of the novel is too extreme for them. I PUT DOWN THE BOOK. It was my decision to stop reading, not my mothers, not my librarian, ME. I don’t think people should tell kids that they are too immature to read books with racy content. And if someone told me that I couldn’t read something because I’m too young I would read it anyway.

When Harry Potter got popular my parents told me and my brother we weren’t allowed to read it because of the witchcraft. I understood, I lived in a strong Christian household and Harry Potter was not very Christian. One Christmas my Aunt bought the first four books for my brother. My parents were worried but they told us we could read them. So after my brother read them I got had my turn to read them and let me tell you I LOVED THEM. However not once did I question my Christian faith because of what I read. I actually fell in love with reading after reading them.

That’s my little rant on banned books. I wrote an article for my high school newspaper earlier this year about book banning. My editor and adviser were worried that I would be bias in my article, so obviously I proved them wrong and won Best Feature Article at the end of the year. My article took on both sides of book banning and I interviewed some pretty powerful people in the school corporation. You can find it here.

I know Banned Books Week is over, but I felt like I needed to add my two-sense.

Happy reading!


  1. Leslie Boyden, you make me happy. and i miss you.

    Erin Case <3