The thought must cross authors' minds when they write how their work will be received, especially if the books are for middle grade and high school students. After all, themes which appeal to this age group can be controversial. The question is how do adults decide? And what do they use as criteria?
I taught at the high school level, teens with mild disabilities, with emotional problems, some who came from dysfunctional homes. I always felt certain themes should be embraced and taught in the classroom, those that many adults would rather choose to protect kids from. It's a fine line and not an easy decision -- to read or not to read. That is indeed the question.
In recent news a story came out about a mother in a certain school district who objected strongly to John Green's Fault of Our Stars, about two teens who have cancer. Death is a theme, but there's love, acceptance, survival as well. Mom's reasoning is that middle schoolers have enough issues dealing with their own mortality let alone reading a book about it. Well, she convinced the school board and it's been pulled from district middle schools.
As no surprise, authors usually have a defensive response to censorship. I know I do, both as an author and a teacher. However, John Green's reply was something special. Take a look and read what he had to say, then let me (us) know what you think.