Ban My Ass

I adore Banned Book Week- it amuses me to no end that people still attempt to ban books in our country (I supposed you're going to start telling me wear a burka, too). Last year, some of the most commonly nominated books to be banned included And Tango Makes Three (damn those homosexual penguins), To Kill a Mockingbird (yeah, because high schoolers have no idea what rape is and have never heard the "n" word), My Sister's Keeper (supposedly for a whole list of reasons, but I think people are just scared of growing human donors), and Twilight (very difficult for me to defend this one). My internal liberal democrat is starting to surface, as I've had to delete several sentences about conservatives making people stupider, so I'll move on.

I've always been insistent about reading what I've w
anted. As a first grader I convinced the cranky school librarian to let me check out novels instead of picture books (hello Boxcar Children), in second grade I was loading up on The Babysitter's Club, and by third grade I was reading Sweet Valley High under my desk so my teacher wouldn't see. By sixth grade I was knee deep into Steven King and remember falling asleep that Christmas Eve reading A Time to Kill. Not long after, I picked up a trashy book called Shank and learned way to early about things that go on between desperate men in prison. Oh, and not to mention Danielle Steel in seventh grade- so that's what boys are for!

I know most of you are wondering where my parents were in all this (the rest of you either finally "get" why I am the way I am or have similar stories). My mom had four kids and left the literary supervision to my dad, who was a reader himself. Back in those days he was a total softy and was just psyched his kid shared an interest with him
, so off I went to take advantage!

Luckily, this freedom to read did not scar me for life. I read a lot of crap, which I think in the end helped me become an extremely discriminatory, critical reader. While this may not be the right route for all families, I greatly appreciate what I assume to be my parents' intentional ignorance about my early literary endeavors. Now we'll see what tune I'll be singing when my future nine year old wants to read Valley of the Dolls...

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