I read tons when I was in elementary school. I loved biographies. I loved learning about Helen Keller and the Wright Brothers. I read fiction but most of it was Judy Blume who made me uncomfortable. Ironically, one of her books taught me to think for myself.
When I was in high school I couldn't figure out why anyone parent would come in to the principal and ask to have a book removed from the library. I was pretty sure there were no "bad" books in my school. then again, I wasn't big into books. I read what was forced and to this day can't stomach ANIMAL FARM, UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, LORD OF THE FLIES, THE GREAT GATSBY and MOBY DICK.
After one year of college I went with friends to Asia to teach English and make scads of money (I came back with one nickel). It was on a tiny island that I started reading again for enjoyment. The first book I bought was JANE EYRE. I love that book. I read TALE OF TWO CITIES and GONE WITH THE WIND next. Loved those books.
I got married, had children, read to them and now they read books. We love to read A LIGHT IN THE ATTIC and other silly books by Shel Silverstein.
Now I know why concerned parents ask books to be removed. I don't agree with removing books, but I understand better now.
My daughter wasn't much of a reader. She couldn't find anything that interested her and she didn't want to waste time reading something she wasn't going to like. Along came TWILIGHT. She devoured that book! Read it in two days. She read the whole series at age 12. I asked her to wait. She wanted to read what her friends were gaga over. So she read and we talked about it.
My son has a totally different dilemma. He loves to read but has a hard time finding books for boys. He read all the HARRY POTTER books. I'm always on the look out for great boy books. (Have any suggestions? Email me or leave them in the comments! THANKS)
Now that I write, I read. And read. And read. I consider reading part of my job as a writer (best. job. ever.).
I have returned books to the library and told them the YA rating should be adult.
I have shut books after a few chapters because the content offended me.
I have asked my children not to read certain books that were for more mature readers.
I will stand by my child if they think a book on the reading list is not one she wants to read for content.