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NCTE: Intellectual Freedom

I just left a panel discussion on censorship and YA literature with Lauren Myracle, Jay Asher, and David Leviathan, authors whose books have been censored for exploring topics like suicide, puberty, and sexual identity. Each author described their experiences with censorship and their impassioned beliefs about intellectual freedom, the rights of readers, and the need for bookstores, classrooms, and libraries to provide access to books. Considering those educators who censor books on order to protect their careers, Leviathan remarked, "What is the point of keeping your job if you are not doing your job?"

We read to lose ourselves and find ourselves. Children deserve reading material that represents their life experiences. Why read at all if you cannot find books about you?

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