Recently, I read an interesting post on YA Interrobang, a site that helps connect YA readers with the latest and greatest YA books. It seems that they have decided not to cover a particular book. Why? It is book #2 in a series. Book #1 was about a date rape with the rapist as the protag. In book #2, he is still in denial that he has done anything wrong. The focus seems to be his insistence that he is a “good guy” who made a mistake. Not surprisingly, the group of women who operate this site don’t seem inclined to help advertise this book. They are concerned that they will be accused of censoring this book.
I get their concern. No, this is not censorship, but their concern makes sense because censorship is one of those words that gets thrown around willie nillie.
In short, censorship is the process of supressing unacceptable books. The key word here is supressing. If Interrobang tried to get the publisher to quit printing the book, that would be censorship. If Interrobang tried to keep book stores from carrying the book or libraries from letting people check it out, that would be censorship. If Interrobang attended school board meetings and demand that schools get rid of the book, that is censorship.
Interrobang has said “we don’t like the sounds of this book because violence against women is a serious topic.” Interrobang has said “we won’t review this book or interview the author.” That’s the same as Kirkus or Publisher’s Weekly not reviewing a book. It is a simple editorial choice. You can still buy it. You can still read it. It has not been censored. It has not been banned. It has not been challenged.
Me? I’m not planning to read it. There are too many books that I’m eager to read. I’m not going to spend the time on this one just to see what it is about.