So the young man has become an AVID, well probably just this side of obsessed Neil Gaiman reader. This is all the fault of Terry Pratchett and his Discworld novels. First came the Sandman graphic novels, then scouring used bookstores for anything written by these guys. Novels, short stories, DVDs of screenplays based on… yadayadayada.
Well, as any good convert will, the boy decided this treasure was too good not to share. He finished reading a collection of short stories by Neil Gaiman. I forget the name of the anthology, but he had read several out loud to me (ad nauseum– no, offense to Mr. Gaiman, but I’d rather not hear a story interspersed with fits of mad giggling). SO, when he decided to loan out the book, I couldn’t think of any good reason to stop him.
Two weeks later, we get the phone call. Apparently, the friend had hidden the book under the mattress of her bed, so that her mom wouldn’t find it. Because the mom tends to read every word of every book, to avoid any of “those” books that contain “dangerous” content. The mom had found not only the book, but the 2 stories in the book that were a little… maybe more than a little… graphic sexually. One story was about looking for The Girl, and the other had to do with STDs.
She actually returned the book in a brown paper bag, having underlined the particular portions she found “pornographic.” I laughed, remembering how hard my friends and I worked at his age to find the books with underlines and dog-ears so we could skip right to those passages. Ahh… Judy Blume. Nowadays you just go find a book with a vampire on the front. But I digress.
Not only was the book banned, but my son was banned from calling or visiting the house again! I was clearly labeled as bad mom. Of course, I haven’t read every word of every book my son picks up… otherwise, he’d never had been reading War and Peace this summer. Just the stuff I recommended Catcher in the Rye and Fahrenheit 451.