Paper Tigers

I posted a while back about the film, Tiger Eyes, based on the classic yet controversial book by Judy Blume. Tiger Eyes will finally hit theatres June 7th and I will be reviewing it and the book for my blog.

In the meantime check out the trailer:

Or this article about the movie, Judy Blume, YA Lit’s recent boom, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and some of the controversy Blume has courted over the years:

As the article says:

“Blume’s works are frequently the target of social conservatives who eschew themes about sex and religion and tough family issues in works aimed at a young audience. There is a long history of fights with schools and libraries to keep her books available and on the shelves – a struggle that Blume herself has championed.”

– Paul Harris, “Death, sex and grief: Judy Blume finally hits cinemas with Tiger Eyes film”

I know I talk a lot about YA (Young Adult literature) on this blog, but, in addition to schools and school libraries being regulated places of learning, it seems that YA books incite the most wrath, scandal, and outrage. Perhaps this comes from the need parents have to believe that their children are innocent and know nothing of the world. Perhaps it comes from those who know nothing of the world themselves not wanting to deal with issues that don’t effect them or answer uncomfortable questions from their children. Perhaps it comes from a difference of opinion in what school should or shouldn’t teach and a struggle over how much curricula should raise questions rather than make students answer them. Perhaps it comes from a generational gap, whether between parents and students, parents and teachers, or outside lawmakers/older citizens and all others involved.

Perhaps it is because many reasons for banning a book come from not actually reading the book and those keeping books off the shelves are least likely to have read a YA novel. For example, many adults have friends who have read most popular adult books (even if they haven’t) and children’s books are often read by parents, leaving YA as this mysterious uncharted land that we don’t understand and therefore worry may be corrupting our children. Or perhaps it is that YA books feature young people beyond the control of parents, schools, or other authority figures (as parents keeping the characters from harm makes for boring books). Whatever the reason, YA is placed squarely at the heart of 21st century censorship.

So Katniss, Harry, meet Davey. She may not be starting a revolution or training underage wizards for Dumbledore’s Army, but her search for meaning and closure is apparently radical enough.

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About boundandgaggedbooks

Shannon is a freelance writer and folklore buff. She has a degree from Hampshire College in Creative Writing/Mythology & Religion, with an emphasis on epic/oral traditions, their anthropological implications, and their modern counterparts. Her work can be found in Fabulously Feminist, Wolf Wariors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology, The Concord Monitor, Redhead Magazine, and The Climax.

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