We’re so pleased to have author Jordan L. Hawk joining us today to help us celebrate the Freedom to Read. Enjoy Jordan’s guest post and then be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget below where you can enter to win an e-book from her backlist.
One of my favorite books as a child is also one of the most consistently banned and challenged books in the decades since its publication. I speak, of course, of Bridge to Terabithia.
I read my copy to absolute rags, because it was one of the few children’s books set entirely in the “real world” with characters I could relate to. Jesse was an artist—like me! Leslie was a tomboy—like me! In response to bullying at school, they spent their afternoons in the woods, escaping to a magical kingdom in their minds, which was exactly what I did. (Except without any friends or siblings to share it with.)
Though originally published in 1977, Bridge to Terabithia remains one of the most challenged and banned books in the US due to profanity, “occult references,” and “Satanism.” (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was the #1 banned book 2000-2009 for the last two reasons as well.)
I haven’t read the book in probably thirty-five years, but the fact I still remember it so keenly says a lot about the impact it had on a lonely kid working through a lot of the same issues as the characters in the book. Which speaks to the heart of the problem with attempts to ban books: the very things most commonly cited as “unsuitable” (imaginative children, fantasy, LGBT content, etc.) are so often the very things a child needs to see most.
About the Author
Jordan L. Hawk grew up in North Carolina and forgot to ever leave. Childhood tales of mountain ghosts and mysterious creatures gave her a life-long love of things that go bump in the night. When she isn’t writing, she brews her own beer and tries to keep her cats from destroying the house. Her best-selling Whyborne & Griffin series (beginning with Widdershins) can be found in print, ebook, and audiobook at Amazon and other online retailers.