Well, at this stage it's one primary school, but there may be more, probably are - I wonder if I can do a reading from my own book for Banned Books Week? Opinions?
See, I have a huge pile of copies from when the distributor moved to Sydney and refused to take Ford Street books with them. I bought 500 at author's price. I couldn't bear to think of the fruit of many months of research and hard work bring trashed. I was fairly confident I could sell them at events, but so far, I've sold three to a boys' school and given away a fair few.
And this year I have begun to give copies to my younger admirers in Year 7. Yesterday I gave a copy to a student whose two older sisters and a brother were all in my book club and one of whom was in my Year 8 class. Another boy in the class saw it and said, "Oh, wow, Crime Time! That's so cool!"
I asked him if he'd read it and he said, "Well, yes, I started to read it in 2012, when I was in Grade 2, but the library took it away because too many younger students were reading it."
Now, I'm the first to admit that Crime Time: Australians behaving badly is really not suitable for children of that age, though I suspect young Eden, my nephew Mark's elder boy, would enjoy it, and he can have a copy any time he likes. He is in Grade 2 and reading several years ahead, just like his old auntie Sue(I was tested in Grade 4 and found to be reading at Year 7 level). And perhaps the librarian was worried about angry parents complaining. Maybe some had complained.
But as a librarian, my own philosophy is, either they can handle a book or they can't. If they can't they will realise it soon and bring it back. If they can, then they should be allowed to try. And believe me, I am careful that what goes on my shelves is mainly YA. I have said no to several requests for Fifty Shades Of Grey, but I suspect they were not serious ones. They knew I'd say no. I did see one girl with a copy, but it was her own. The most they will get from me is, "Isn't that a bit hard for you? Have you read a page or two or only the cover?" But if they still want it, they can borrow it.
Still, I don't know what was behind the ban. I can't judge.
Which brings me back to my question: shall I, dear readers, do a virtual readout for Banned Books Week? Or is it tacky to read your own book?
By the way, the boy got a copy today. I signed it,"You are now old enough to read this - hope you enjoy it! From your favourite teacher..."