You, who try to stamp out these books, which have not grown to harm our children, but rather, have sprouted from the hands and the souls of writers who were once children, who now wish to spark a flame in the mind, and to heal a wounded heart. You who try to say these books are not important, that stories are not important, have you ever had someone say your story is not important to this world?
How can you say that children should not see and hear the things that are happening around them? How can you say they should keep their noses out of books, and instead, pressed to the glass of school bus windows where children sit and talk with mouths full of words we'd rather they not speak? How can you say we shouldn't talk about the things, which hurt our children, and torture our children, that come up to our children with a plastic cup filled with beer or whiskey or whatever they can find to drown out the pain? Why would you rather they taste the booze between those sweet lips instead of tasting it through a voracious literary appetite?
Why should we let girls struggle with weight and rape and the utter pain of a broken heart, alone? Why should we let boys treat girls like they don't matter? Why should we categorize and stereotype the experiences of these young adults? And for that matter, why should we call them young adults if we do not let them behave like adults who are young?
Why would you take away a hunger for words trailed across the page like spaghetti, wound around the mind like pasta around the tines of a fork? Why would you discourage a belief in books, in magic, in wonderful words, which broaden the mind and make the world beautiful, and true?
You see, I just don't understand. I am a believer in books. In words. I stories. But you see, I am a writer. And I am a reader. And I was a girl who walked through school hallways with bullies and wounds that could not be bandaged over. But you see, I did not become like those girls on the news. I did not become a statistic. Books rescued me. And that's why I can't understand why you'd take a book from the hands of our children and instead replace it with a smart phone. I can't understand why you'd let these things poison them from the inside out when words could heal them.
I guess I'll never understand because I believe in books.