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Laurie Halse Anderson will not be
silenc-ED about those bans.

Janet Manley

March 15, 2023, 10:42am

It has been a busy week for banning books about, well, seemingly anything—“adult romance that should not be on school shelves,” for example.

Jodi Picoult wrote a piece in The Daily Beast following Florida’s removal from library shelves of several of her books due to complaints by a single parent. She noted that there is not a single kiss in many of them, though they do include “issues like racism, abortion rights, gun control, gay rights, and other topics that encourage kids to think for themselves.” Ahem.

Likewise, author Laurie Halse Anderson, whose breakout, Speak, deals with rape, has found herself defending her work (a fine irony for those who know that particular book). She showed up at a school board meeting this week to stand up for literature that has proven vital to survivors of sexual assault.


When THE Laurie Halse Anderson speaks at your hometown school board meeting about how dangerous book bans can be… im in shock and awe ♥️ #savecbsd #CBSD #buckscounty #buckscountypa #speak #chains #lauriehalseanderson #booksavelives

♬ original sound – Jordie

Goes without saying that the scandalized parents reporting random books to their libraries have probably not read Farenheit 451, and that there’s something a little fishy about deferring to them instead of the librarians with specialty training. As Picoult points out, they don’t have to successfully “ban” a book to banish it:

Some districts take the books off shelves “pending review”— but months and years go by without a review, and the books remain locked away.

I do wonder if the sole complaining parent is worried that censorship will come for The Horse Whisperer next, or Bridges of Madison County or The Notebook. Can they handle adult romance themselves? A smoky hot barn dance in thick denim? Seemingly not.

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