Lately, censorship has been a pretty big topic of coverage here at HelloGiggles, particularly when it has to do with female-focused issues. From girls being sent home from school for violation of outlandish dress-code rules to hairstyles (I mean, WHAT?), it seems like more often than not, females are the ones suffering the consequences of over-the-top censorship today.
In a similar vein, it seems like every time we turn around, another book is getting banned from school reading lists. And now, with Banned Books Week just around the corner, Courtney Summers’ 2010 young-adult novel Some Girls Are is the newest addition to that list.
According to The Post and Courier, Some Girls Are was originally one of two novel options that English 1 Honors students at Charleston, S.C.’s West Ashley High School were assigned to read over the summer. But after some parents learned the novel included mature (yet realistic) themes such as drug use, sex, rape, and bullying, the book was pulled from the curriculum.
About the banning, Summers stated via e-mail to The Post and Courier that “If someone chooses not to read my books, whatever their reasons, I respect that. But I find it very troubling when someone makes that choice for other readers who might feel differently.”
We couldn’t agree with Summers more – and luckily, lots of other amazing people feel the same way, including blogger and former librarian Kelly Jensen. Through the book blog Stacked, Jensen started a drive within days of the banning to encourage people to donate copies of Some Girls Are to the Charleston County Public library.
“I don’t think teens are given enough credit in terms of making their own choices and decisions, and this seemed like a way to say, ‘There are people in your community who care about you and who want you to be able to make decisions about what you’re reading and thinking about and talking about,'” Jensen told The Post and Courier.
And it worked – in fact, the donation count is closing in on 1,000, which is astonishing and a huge win for those who believe teenagers should be given the rights to read about these types of issues that they may be facing on their own and are being told point blank by members of the own community that they should, in essence, be ignoring.
“Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible,” Jensen wrote yesterday in a post on Stacked about the success of the book drive. “The impact is not small, and I couldn’t be prouder than seeing and hearing about the teens who are picking up the book and opening up conversations, among themselves and with adults in their lives.”
Andria Amaral, a young adult services manager at the library, says people will be able to take home the donated copies free of charge, without even needing a library card. About the book, Amaral told The Post and Courier, “I think a lot of parents would like to pretend this isn’t happening out there, but it really is. I don’t think there’s anything worse in this book than what kids are seeing on TV or talking amongst themselves. It’s reality.”
Summers herself has also chimed in on the drive’s success, saying she feels inspired by people coming together to stand up to censorship in this way and taking to Twitter to express her gratitude for the support of those donating copies of her book in person and by mail.
We’re so inspired by these women’s response to the banning of Some Girls Are, and applaud them for taking a stand against unnecessary censorship to give teenage readers the credit and platform they deserve. Because hiding problems doesn’t mean the problems don’t exist.
(Image via Amazon)