CBLDF is honored to have some pretty spectacular board members, creators, and comics professionals who are willing to go the extra mile for the freedom to read. Board members Jenni Holm, the winner of multiple Newbery Honors and co-creator of the hit series Babymouse and Squish, and Jeff Smith, the creator of the bestselling all-ages favorite — and one of the most challenged books in 2013 — Bone, took time out of their busy schedules this week to stump for CBLDF and banned books!
Smith has been all over the place this week, with an article on the Reading Rainbow blog and an interview with NPR. He also ventured over to Huffington Post to talk about growing up as a comics fan and the attacks on comics. Smith writes:
So, should I laugh or should I cry [about comic book censorship]? Neither. Despite the thinly veiled political nature of some attacks, our books aren’t being banned by the government or made illegal. The first amendment of the Constitution guarantees that. But make no mistake, they are being stigmatized and blindsided by these creeping attacks on libraries and schools. It’s up to us to stay vigilant and push back.
You can read the entire article here. Smith also talks about the positive influence comics have had on his life, a refrain echoed by Holm in her article for Reading Rainbow. Holm grew up in a household that embraced comics and the freedom to read. She writes:
Besides giving us reading material, our parents gave us something else: freedom. Freedom to choose what we wanted to read. They never restricted us from reading anything. And why did they do this? I guess you could say they just got kids. See, our dad was a pediatrician and our mom a pediatric nurse. They worked with kids every day and respected them. They felt that feeding the imagination and allowing kids the right to choose their own books was just as important as drinking milk and getting vaccinations.
You can read the rest of Holm’s article here, but be careful: You might just become a hero for the freedom to read before you’re through reading Smith and Holm’s passionate defense of comics!