The first book I’m reading in honor of Banned Books Week is Go Ask Alice.
It’s (supposedly) the diary of an anonymous teenage girl in the 60s (or 70s?) who accidentally takes LSD at a party and descends into a downward spiral of drugs and sex. It’s been challenged many times due to language and the graphic description of sexual activities and drug use.
Based on a precursory look at the reviews on Good Reads it looks like everybody either hates it or loves it. There doesn’t seem to be an in-between. Hmm… I wonder how I’ll feel about it?
There is A LOT of doubt as to whether or not this is an actual diary or a book cooked up by a person with an agenda. Either way, it’s still a powerful book that has had a profound impact on thousands of people.
All that being said, if you want a reason for not banning this book, all you have to do is read the review by a mom named Sarah Urban. She was fully prepared to write a letter to the librarian for allowing her daughter to check out the book and lecture her kid on the appropriateness of certain books – until her daughter came up to her and started a conversation about drugs – about how bad they were.
That’s what books like this do. They don’t glorify it, or make it seem cool; they educate and they start a conversation.
PS: If you want to know what I think about the book, I only post ratings and reviews on Good Reads, so check my profile in a few days.