Ellen Hopkins has written some ferocious books. Brave, gritty, hard-hitting and read by lots and lots and LOTS of teens. I am a big fan of her work.
Interestingly, a brouhaha has recently surfaced about Ellen’s “dis-invitation” to speak at a Teen Lit Fest in Texas.
I use quotes around the words “dis-invitation” because I really have no idea what actually went down. Where it stands now is that Ellen wrote a blog post called CENSORSHIP BITES that has raged through cyber-space… and now the Teen Lit Fest is being accused of all sorts of things and a bunch of celebrated YA authors have backed out of appearing (after previously accepting an invite) to take a stance against censorship.
The mainstream news has even caught up with the story and now things are really starting to hit the fan. And the people in Texas are looking as if they have big egg on their face. (FYI, Ellen has written some edgy books and is no stranger to having her work censored, I am sure, due to the graphic nature of the content.)
However, some event organizers claim that Ellen was never officially invited – a non-formal inquiry was supposedly floated to her, but not an official invitation – and people are jumping the gun by saying she was dis-invited when in fact, she was never even invited in the first place. (Ellen addresses this quite passionately in her blog post linked above. She clearly states she was indeed invited and then dis-invited.)
So perhaps this is a case of miscommunication combining with the forces of the world wide web to create a kerfuffle where there never really was one? Or perhaps it’s not and people are trying to censor Ellen Hopkins. I don’t know.
But no matter what happened, a big boo-boo was made somewhere and a Teen Reading Festival could be forced to go try and be festive without any authors to add some festivity.
Texas at the center of another storm. Sheesh, they keep this up and New York is gonna be getting jealous pretty soon.