Post #3 — Controversy over Edwards Award Winner

11 02 2008

I just read this article in School Library Journal about a controversy over the Margaret A. Edwards Award, which is given out by the Young Adult Library Services Association and “recognizes an author’s work in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role and importance in relationships, society, and in the world.”

This year, the winner is Orson Scott Card, the author of one of my favorite books, Ender’s Game. But after reading the article, I was disappointed to find out that Card has also written anti-gay articles for mainstream and religious publications.

As much as I disagree with Card’s opinions, Roger Sutton, editor of the Horn Book, makes a valid point at the end of the SLJ article when says librarians have no business evaluating a writer’s moral, political, or ethical beliefs.

That’s the hard part, isn’t it? Logically, I can see that it would be a form of censorship to withhold awards from people who we don’t agree with personally. The whole purpose of intellectual freedom is for situations like this — controversial opinions (not just those I agree with) need the most protection.

But that doesn’t meant its not difficult, emotionally, to separate the author from the hurtful things he says in the real world. And will teens, who may not understand intellectual freedom, be able to make that distinction?

I’m curious what other people’s opinions are on this…