The most challenged author was P.C. Cast. In Stephenville ISD, all six books in her House of Night series were banned at Henderson Jr. High. The second most challenged (and banned) author this year was Richelle Mead; all five books in her Vampire Academy series were banned at the same school. This situation indicates that a squeaky wheel or two can deny a whole school access to a particular book or series. “It seems that an individual or group of people went on a crusade…” (See p. 11), thereby imposing the tyranny of a vocal minority.
Relatively small Stephenville ISD not only had the most challenges this year but imposed preemptive bans on books not yet written. From our report: “The district banned the two teen vampire series from the library, even though neither series has been completed…Stephenville ISD actually banned books that have not yet been published and perhaps even books that have yet to be written.” (See p. 11)
That’s right. The House of Night series was challenged and the Vampire Academy series was actually banned, but only by one school. Guess what the reason is…Sexual Content or Nudity.
I can see the reasoning for the House of Night series. There was this one scene in Marked between two characters that I thought was kind of wierd to have in a YA novel, but they were supporting characters. Plus, the reaction of the main character was appropriate for the age. Granted, I’ve only read the first two novels so maybe there is more in subsequential novels, but I can’t see why one small scene should matter. Is there more in later novels that gives the school more reason to ban this novel?
As for the Vampire Academy series, I don’t get it. Yes there are make-out sessions, but you’re not going to tell me kids aren’t doing this already. It’s the first stage of true experimentation and I’m not naive enough to think that my child won’t have tried it already before reading any novels. Hell, the idea of a first kiss is shown by the parents in my opinion. If mommy and daddy can do it, why can’t I? So I don’t accept that as a reason to ban a book. However, I’m not forgetting that there is a sex scene in the series, but it doesn’t happen until Shadow Kissed, and quite honestly, I don’t think it’s that big of a scene either. Yes, the ramifications of the action are quite important to the plot, and while Mead could have alluded to it rather than show it, I don’t think giving the couple this one chance to be close was wrong either. Plus, it was only one scene in five novels.
So what do you guys think: Do you agree with these books being banned? Are there any other ones that could follow these two onto the banned books list? Is a novel involving vampires, werewolves or other forms a magic reason enough to be banned?