A Bushel and a Peck

MoJo's book banning

Go here to read about how Maureen Johnson's book The Bermudez Triangle was banned without anyone actually reading it in Bartelsville, OK.

Then go here to find out about what's happening now, what very cool people have helped, and how you can help, too!
Besides buying the book, which is just plain fun.

Here's the letter I wrote to the school board people and cc' to the local paper.

Dear Mr. McCauley,
I am writing to urge you to reconsider your decision to take The Bermudez Triangle off the shelves.

Books are not billboards advocating certain kinds of behavior. They are works of art, designed to be liked, disliked, disagreed with, discussed, and considered. A school teaches students to read critically, and by pulling books off the shelves (especially without even reading them), we send a message to our young people that they are incapable of thinking for themselves. That we have no faith in what we have taught them, and no faith in them to make good decisions.

By taking a book like The Bermudez Triangle off the shelves, you are sending a message to the young people of your community that if they have questions about sexuality, they should not come to you -- or to their parents who support the ban. When you remove a book because you object to its content, you tell the children who look up to you that those topics are unspeakable, and deprive yourself of a chance to impart your values in a discussion. You set up a situation in which a teenager going through adolescence can not confide in his or her elders.

I am the author of four novels for young adults, and many books for young children. I hold a doctorate in English Literature from Columbia University and teach at New York University. I am cc-ing this note to the editor of the Examiner.

I do hope you will reconsider.

Yours Sincerely,

E. Lockhart