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Thursday, March 16, 2017

I'm The Author Of A Banned Book!

Yea, I too have joined the ranks of those heroes who have written banned books! Rejoice!

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..."


Lexa Cain said...

Holy cow - so I now know the author of a banned book! Cool! Schools are just weird about things, though I certainly think 50 Shades isn't for schoolkids (or anyone with half a brain). Do a reading, video it, and put it here so I can enjoy you banned book!

Sue Bursztynski said...

Agreed that 50 Shades isn't for kids. I'm not sure I'd have the cheek to tell my colleagues at school they were lacking half a brain. ;-) If you want to read a bit if Crime Time, scroll down the side of this page - I have a sample chapter from it on this blog. I'll certainly do my reading later in the year and put a link from YouTube on this page.