Dear F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kate Chopin, Toni Morrison, J.D. Salinger, and Lois Lowry,
I am writing to you because each of you helped me to grow up; you spoke to me when I was on the precipice of adolescence—between who I was and who I was struggling to become. You made me feel not alone, you challenged the limits of my understanding, you made me think, you made me braver. You made my world bigger and helped me to explore my place in it. And you continue to do so. While I may never achieve what you did, each of you made me want to write.
And, I am writing to you now, in celebration of banned books month, because over the years, your books have been frequently challenged or banned, and they continue to be. Those two terms—“celebration” and “banned books” may seem to exist uneasily together in the same sentence, but it’s a testament to those who fight for the value of words that banned books month becomes a time to celebrate our freedom to read.~ read more ~