Sunday, September 26, 2010

In Which I Am A Fortune Teller

Remember a few days ago, when I posted about censorship in support of Laurie Halse Anderson?

In that post I mentioned a guest post I'd written for Page Turners Blog about book banning and how I expect Nightshade to be challenged at some point.

The past few days I've been in Naperville, Illinois for Anderson's YA conference. I had the best time ever - the Anderson's staff are phenomenal! It was amazing and I'll be posting more about that soon. Prior to the conference, I had the great pleasure and honor to visit local school and talk about writing.

Before my very first presentation, however, I was taken to the principal's office (I'm 32 and that was my first time being sent to the principal's office!) and told that a parent had objected to my being there because of the content of my book.

Now I realize I had very recently written that I expected this to happen, but I have to say, I wasn't prepared for an objection to come on my very first school visit. Being a school visit n00b I was already nervous and getting this news was a bit like a punch in the gut. Fortunately as soon as I got on stage and started talking about how much I love writing, all that ugly noise faded away. The students were phenomenal. They asked fantastic questions and were so enthusiastic. It reminded me of why I love talking to young readers and why no matter who objects I will always continue to SPEAK LOUDLY about the issues I believe in.

It's officially Banned Books Week now and to celebrate I'll be giving away a handful of banned or challenged books by authors who are heroes of mine. Stay tuned!


  1. Whoa, already??

    I can't wait to see what happens when your book is actually out in the world, on shelves in libraries and bookstores!

    Stay amazing, Andrea!

  2. Oh wow! I can't wait to read your book- it looks very interesting! I think a lot of fantasy books get contested- I'm sure any fantasy book out there has been contested at one point or another- even if it was only a complaint or whatever. But you know what? That makes me even more proud to love and read the genre, and to be writing my own fantasy novel. You know you've made it when people start protesting your book, lol. It's like with celebrities- you know you've made it when they burn you on SNL.

  3. I can't believe a parent complained first of all, but before your book has even been released?! That's outrageous! Teens need to hear from authors. I know I'd love to have you visit my students, and I certainly wouldn't stand for some parent getting in the way of that! Good luck with future visits and I can't wait to read Nightshade :D

  4. Thanks for the support, Abby and Addicted2Reading :) It is much appreciated!

  5. Authors (especially those writing YA) deserve the support, considering how many teens you help :)


  6. I can't believe this! We were just talking about this at the Anderson's Warehouse before the Lit Conference. It frustrates me that books are challenged simply because they show the truth in life.

  7. I just read your (awesome) guest post over at Page Turners. Even living in a modern society, sex still scares people. I will never understand this. It's a necessary part of has to happen if our species is going to keep chugging along. Just because an author writes about it doesn't mean they're trying to talk your kids into having it, just because a kid reads it doesn't mean they're going to try it...but it's a fact of life and some day they're going to face it - don't you want them to be prepared? I'm betting these same parents let their kids watch movies. Good luck finding a movie that doesn't involve some kind of sexual undertone (or overtone).

    And if the parents are objecting to the witches...well, clearly they haven't read the book. I don't really think of it as a book about witches and magic - it's such an intelligent look at the politics of servitude and loyalty that that's what immediately springs to mind - it's just examined in a fun and creative way.

    I sincerely hope this doesn't happen again, Andrea! I'm sorry some random parent had to go and make your first school visit more intimidating!

  8. Thanks so much, everyone. And Casey thanks especially for your thoughts on the politics of servitude and loyalty in Nightshade - I couldn't hope for a better response :)