Monday, October 11, 2010

Kimberly Derting Speaks Out

Kimberly is the author of THE BODY FINDER and it's follow-up, DESIRES OF THE DEAD. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the ideal place to write anything dark or creepy...a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. She lives with her husband and their three beautiful (and often mouthy) children who provide an endless source of inspiration.

1 . What is your opinion on book banning/censorship?

I think telling other people what they should—or more importantly, shouldn’t—read is very dangerous territory. Historically, book banning has been (and, frankly, still is) used to oppress and manipulate. Henry VIII did it to keep the people of England under his thumb, Adolf Hitler did it to convince his followers that Jews were an inferior race, and religious cults and dictator regimes often do it to keep their citizens from being exposed to views other than those they permit.

My belief is that if parents don’t want their children reading something in particular, and this is especially true for younger readers, then they should get involved in choosing age-appropriate books. But please don’t tell  me what my kids should be reading!

2. What would you do it The Body Finder was ever banned/challenged?

Thankfully the Young Adult community is pretty tight-knit and we tend to band together when times get tough. I’d probably complain a little, and then they’d complain a lot. Together we’re one big, powerful voice.

3. What may be the pros and cons of censorship?

I’m not a big fan of censorship, so asking me for a pro is tough. I tend to think everyone has the right to their opinions / beliefs / thoughts, even if I disagree. And putting those ideas on paper is their prerogative. But, while I might not favor censorship, I also think it’s better if, say, an 8-year-old doesn’t pick up a book like mine, with more mature subject matter. I wouldn’t be entirely opposed to some sort of rating system (similar to the movie ratings)…although that’s a slippery slope too, since it’s still subjective.
And I think we all know what the cons are.

4. What are some of your favorite banned books and why?

This could be a fairly long list, but just to name a few, I loved Harry Potter (banned because of that pesky wizard / witchcraft thing); The Golden Compass; A Light in the Attic (I know, this one surprised me too…apparently it encourages kids to “break dishes!”); and two of my all-time favorites To Kill a Mockingbird and The Color Purple. I guess even portraying racism and rape in a realistic (meaning: negative) light is considered a book-banner no-no.

5. How do you speak out against others banning books?

I recently wrote a blog post in support of SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson (not to mention several other fabulous books that have no business being pulled from shelves! ), in which I revealed some rather private information in hopes that others might realize the dangers of book banning. I think the best thing we can do is to keep talking about this issue and spreading the word. Sometimes those who are the most ignorant shout the loudest, but in this instance we need to be the squeaky wheels in order to keep the books we love in schools and libraries!

Big thank you to Kim for taking the time to do this for me! Thanks for speaking out against censorship!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this!
    I totally agree!
    Everyone has a right to voice their opinions.. i don't believe in banning!!!