The Pact

The Pact Picoult's Banned Books

Jodi Picoult has written over 20 books, many of those targeted at young adults with regard to their characters, themes, and content. This has led to her works being read and discussed in many schools—much to the author's pleasure, as she was once an English teacher herself. However, a handful of her novels have also been protested and even banned from schools due to their content: teen sex and pregnancy, suicide, and murder. The Pact is one such book; it was banned from at least one high school for the inclusion of teen pregnancy, suicide, and sexual abuse.

Picoult responded to this ban of The Pact with an article called "Writing a challenging read: Why I write banned books," published in the Princeton Alumni Review and The Washington Post as well as a podcast called "Big Brother is Watching What You Read," published on her personal site. In these responses, Picoult questions the ban, likening her book to the classroom staple Romeo and Juliet in terms of its plot and themes, and proposes that it is important for students to read and grapple with such difficult issues as sexual abuse.

The Pact has since been allowed to return to the first and most visible school at which it was banned, Keene High School in New Hampshire. Furthermore, the banning of Picoult's book seems to have encouraged her to continue writing about controversial topics for young adults to encourage dialogue and deeper thinking in and out of the classroom.