Would my book be banned? What do you think?

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Would my book be banned? What do you think?

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Jun 20, 2008, 1:04am

My second novel, THINKING STRAIGHT, tells the story of a Christian, gay teenager whose parents put him into an "ex-gay" camp to straighten him out. The story is a positive one, and the boy manages to remain true both to himself and to his religion. However, he has to totally change his understanding of religion in particular, and Christianity in general, to do so. He has to learn to think strategically.

My position is this: We need to understand scripture, not just parrot it. We need to recognize the “thou shalts” and the “thou shalt nots” for what they are: TACTICS. And tactics are not absolute. That’s why they change through time within the bible itself. If it is still true that we should not murder, that’s not because “not murdering” is absolute; it’s because loving each other too much to do that is absolute.

I think we should approach scripture like – what was that phrase? Oh, yes: As a little child. Not blindly, not stupidly, but with a love of learning, a demand to understand, an open heart and an open mind that continually asks “Why?”

My novel uses these beliefs of mine as a foundation for what my protagonist learns. The book was released on April 29, so it hasn't been on the market very long.

If anyone has an opinion one way or the other about the book being banned by virtue of the content as I've described it here, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Jun 20, 2008, 1:04pm

Sounds like a great topic for a book.

Nancy Garden has written sensitively about being a gay teenager. When I'm in a library or bookstore, I often look, just out of curiosity, to see if they're carrying her books or not.

Her book was burned in Kansas. She did a follow-up novel about it called The Day They Burned the Books (I better check that, since it's not loading).

What's likely to happen is that public school librarians won't buy your book; they've already been burned by other controversies.

Public libraries and book stories will be more likely to carry and defend it if there are objections.

Jun 29, 2008, 2:30pm

Given the other books that have been banned, for reasons none of us could fathom, a book about a gay teenager is likely to offend somebody's sense of something-or-other. Sometimes I think there are people who are offended that others can think differently than they do and be happy, simple as that.

There are ten copies on order at the New York Public Library, and one hold--I happened to be on the website. But that's New York. I added it to my list there; not my style--I didn't read YA books when I was a young adult--but now that you've brought this up, maybe I'll read it for Banned Books Week.

I'll be curious to know what happens. Please keep us up-dated. Perhaps there should be a special category of LT Authors whose books have been banned?

Jun 29, 2008, 11:38pm

karen5l -- Love the idea of a banned-author category! Not sure how we'd go about it, but I like it.

Thanks for the info on the NY Libs stack; it's great to know they'll have multiple copies!

The book is actually not being marketed as YA; the publisher's main marketing track for this kind of thing is gay adult. But teens are certainly buying it and sending me email. One gay teen told me he'd pretty much turned his back on God, b/c he assumed God hated him. But now maybe he'll give God another chance. That's a pretty powerful response, so I'm just waiting to do a google search and come up with the book banned someplace! I'll post here if that happens.