Friday, October 15, 2010
Lisa Desrochers Speaks Out
Lisa Desrochers is the author of Personal Demons. She has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and maintains a full-time practice in California. She currently lives in central California with her husband and two daughters. Personal Demons is her debut novel and is the first in a trilogy. Here is Lisa speaking out:
I’ve been thinking a lot about Banned Book Week lately because, since Personal Demons released week before last, I’ve had people ask me if I think school librarians will shelve it. The answer is: probably not.
Personal Demons deals with religious themes of good versus evil in a way that some people are apt to take offense with, and that’s all it takes for a book to hit the banned list. I fully expect my book to be banned from many school libraries.
In preparing my Banned Book Week posts, I pulled up the ALA “banned and challenged” list and was shocked by some of the titles I found there. The Lord of the Rings? Really? JRR Tolkien taught me to read. If you’re not aware of the most recent struggles of Laurie Halse Anderson and the attack on her books (Speak, specifically) then you’ve been living under a rock. I’m the mother of two teenage girls, and you better believe they will both be reading this book. Books such as Halse Anderson’s give parents a safe forum to
discuss difficult, but very important, issues with their children. Why anyone would want to ban these books is beyond me.
As with Halse Anderson’s books, I believe many books on the challenged list are there because the subject matter is difficult or disturbing. Difficult or disturbing subject matter makes people uncomfortable. When people get uncomfortable, they often respond by trying to make the thing that makes them uncomfortable go away. Ban the book: problem solved. Somehow, they believe that they are serving a public service. Unfortunately, in doing so, they rob everyone else of their free choice to decide for them selves what books
to read. They also seem to miss the fact that these books serve an important purpose, and banning them robs children and adults of the opportunity to explore that subject matter and integrate the lessons learned into their lives in a productive way. That’s everyone’s loss.
So, I encourage you to go to your local library and take out a book from the banned list. If they don’t have it, request they order it. Read it. Learn from it. Happy reading!