Q&A with Mindy McGinnis, author of ‘Heroine’

Mindy McGinnis, Edgar Award-winning author of the challenged book ‘Heroine’, shares her perspective

For the full interview visit here.

Q: What audiences do you think your book Heroin is “appropriate” for?
A: “Humans. Anyone looking for empathy and compassion in the world. Anyone hoping to be understood. Anyone wondering how easy it is to fall down a rabbit hole, and anyone who has ever considered the fact that it could be them one day.”
Q: What power should parents have in censoring the reading of high schoolers beyond their own child?
A: “My honest answer is that adults need to trust educators, librarians, and other institutions. Junior Library Guild, Kirkus, Horn Book, and other professional review sites assign age categories to young adult books. But more importantly – trust the readers themselves. I worked in a high school library for fourteen years. Teens and young readers DO self-censor. I’ve seen plenty of kids pick up a book, page through it, and be like, “Woah! Okay… not for me.” They put it down. They move on.”
Q: Who do you think should be responsible for decisions regarding banning books?
A: “I think most schools have a great process for dealing with challenged books. Of course, all voices should be heard. Parents have real concerns about what their children are exposed to, and raising their children is their most important job. Listening is also critical, and in a time when most public discourse has been demeaned to slugging matches where the winner has the best one-liner and everyone has a pie chart to refute someone else’s bar graph, actually being quiet and considering the other person’s point no longer seems essential to arriving at a decision. That’s what I would ask – that everyone let everyone speak, and then actually think about what they said, not just reload the next quip.”
Marin Ellington
Marin Ellington