Banned And Challenged Books
Books helped me crawl out of despair
their pages wrapping around my heart, telling me that I could survive this,
I could keep going,
and things would get better.
They told me I wasn’t alone.
Books save lives.
When I hear of books being challenged
removed from libraries
banned from shelves
from the minds of young readers
from hearts that need those stories
to know they’re not alone
to survive the pain they’re living
I feel a sadness so deep
my chest aches.
My book SCARS faced some challenges over the years—even though I know from readers that it has saved lives. I’m in good company; so many other writers who write about diversity or painful issues have faced book challenges, including Laurie Halse Anderson; Ellen Hopkins; Judy Blume; Julie Anne Peters; John Green; Sherman Alexie; Chris Crutcher, and so many others.
There is a huge need for YA books with diversity and that honestly and openly explore painful issues that teens are living now—
As in any community, there will be differing opinions and views of what is right, what is healthy. I understand that. But to try to remove my book SCARS–which is about breaking silence, finding healing and safety–feels wrong to me, on so many levels. If you’re triggered by something, you find a way to deal with that trigger. You go into therapy, you deal with your past. You don’t silence others.