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You Can't Say That! Writers for Young People Talk About Censorship, Free Expression, and the Stories They Have to Tell

by Leonard S. Marcus Editor

In this collection of interviews, renowned authors of children's books and young adult fiction and nonfiction discuss the scrutiny and censorship their work has faced over the course of their careers. From stories featuring two moms, carefully researched sex education primers, to other books touching on gender, sexuality, race, the occult, and using 'coarse language,' the authors in this book have come under attack again and again for their work and the metaphorical bears they poked through writing them. In today's day and age where discussions of 'cancel culture' frequently feature figures on the political right berating the left for their 'intolerance' of their views, this book is a timely reminder that censorship codified in legislation and enforced in libraries and classrooms has not only been traditionally targeted at left-leaning voices, but has far more serious consequences than a Twitter pile-on. Featuring interviews with Matt de la Peña, Robie Harris, Susan Kuklin, David Levithan, Meg Medina, Lesléa Newman, Katherine Paterson, Dav Pilkey, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, R.L. Stine, and Angie Thomas.