Readers Have Rights, Too!

When working on my master’s degree, I had the opportunity to hear a speech by a famous YA literature author, specializing in initiation stories for middle schoolers. The majority of his stories are outdoor adventures, but one of his well-known stories begins with a scene he said he refused to allow his children to read.

That was in 1996, and I’m still wondering… how could anyone write something he/she wouldn’t allow his own children to read but then have it published for other people’s children to read? I personally disagree with that philosophy. I won’t write anything I’d be ashamed of any of my past students reading, let alone my own children.

I think that as your reading audience, everyone’s children should be as important to you as your own. What gives a writer the right to use people’s minds as dumpsters?

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