Reading yesterday's newspaper, I came across an article about the new trend in teenage books. They are a series of books called "The Gossip Girl" by Cecily von Ziegesar. Click this link to read about the author, the controversy and excerpts from her books. It seems that this set of books depicts teens having sex, doing drugs, using profanity and plotting and scheming against each other and a fair share of adults are outraged. The books are geared towards teens 14 and above. These books seem racy, but should they be banned? Do they constitute as obscenity?
I just read a post that ties in with this article. Although I have yet to watch this week's lectures, I would like to comment of cyberubs blog. I clicked on this link and came across Judy Blume's book "Deenie". I had read this book as a teenager. Like I stated in one of my previous posts, I was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 12. My parents and I had no idea the extent of the curve(s) and we were afraid I may need a brace to correct it. My family was (still is) very much into literature; therefore my mother went searching for a book that I can read and relate to. Deenie is a girl who has scoliosis and needs to wear a brace. She is a young teenager and goes to parties and ends up playing spin the bottle. The thing I remember most about this book was that she was concerned about wearing her brace and being embarrassed in case the boy she was in love with would try to "feel her up" and instead of feeling her breast he would feel the brace. What I do not remember is that it also dealt with masturbation – the reason why Spring Hill School District in Hernando County, FL banned the book. (Challenged but retained.)(Read Judy Blume's reaction to her book being banned)
This brings me to the books I mentioned above. I don't know how to feel about the Gossip Girl series. As a parent, I am outraged that such material is targeted for young girls. However, as once being a teen myself, I enjoyed reading novels including some that were pretty illicit. It is the parents' responsibility to bring their children up with morals and good judgement. Although I read these books, Deenie included, they did not make me go out and act irresponsibly.
After reading cyberub's blog, the article in my newspaper and reading up on the Gossip Girl series, I do not think it should be banned. Nothing should be banned. It is up to the parents to allow or disallow certain material to be read.
Did my mother know the content of the book when she got it for me? Maybe – maybe not. I read all the books my children do – whether they know it or not. I just don't let on or try not to. I purchased a book for my son "Then again maybe I won't" by Judy Blume. I read it, but I think my son would be mortified if he knew I knew what was written! Since I read "Are you there God? It's me Margaret" by the same author when I was a young girl, I purposely looked for the same type book only geared toward boys. I thought it would help him realize he is not alone with his feelings and that he is normal. It would be a shame if that book was banned – it deals with wet-dreams. (oh the horror!)
All these people screaming censorship are taking things too far. Years later the theme of the story sticks in my mind, but the one act, masturbation, the reason why Deenie was banned, does not. This proves that some people make way2much out of things unnecessarily. I say let the children read!