More news about the documentary is coming soon. But in the meantime, I thought I would go off on a tangent that I’ve been going down lately in amongst all this planning. Censorship. Banning. Challenging. These are a bunch of words that have been tossed around a lot in the last 30 years (and of course, much longer) while their definitions and the power they hold can vary a lot from one person and usage to another. On one extreme you have Communism, dictatorships, and Fahrenheit 451 (a title that has become synonymous with the censorship cause and yet is quite misunderstood). On the other hand you have reasonable objections to what and when children are introduced to different books and media. Somewhere in between all of that you ideally have a reasonable debate about literacy, choice, education, responsibility of schools and libraries versus parents, and a host of other related topics that feed into the topic. This isn’t easy. And I don’t think it should be painted entirely as black and white.
Want to check in on how the Scary Stories documentary is going? Want to be one of the firsts to view our brand new trailer this Halloween season? Want to talk about banned books? Come join the discussion on Reddit on October 1st where we will be conducting a live AMA (Ask Me Anything). Also, come to Ghost Con in Chicago October 3rd-4th or Colorado Horror Con later that month. We will be showing the trailer as well as a special extended cut. All of these are great opportunities to get the inside scoop!
One of the big topics for this documentary about Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is the practice of banning and challenging of children’s books. How is it done, why is it done, how could it be different, and of course, is there even ever a good reason to ban a book? The American Library Association’s list of most challenged books has become the most universal list for looking at banned and challenged books in America. The list is generally full of children’s books and books that may be something that is read in high schools, since parents attempting to ban books in their public or school libraries are often the most common mechanism for books being banned.
Banning and challenging children’s books have become a common hot topic. One reason is that it gets to the heart of political differences. Sometimes the root of it is a disagreement on who should make decisions on the selection of reading material. Other times disagreement stems from merely both sides (or sometimes just one of the sides) being so heated that they aren’t willing to listen to the other side. One important question: Why are books banned?