The Newbery award winning book this year — The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron who is also a librarian — contains the word scrotum, not once, but a few times. Apparently this is a problem for some librarians and parents who have been challenging and/or removing the book from school library shelves according to some short discussion on LM_NET (link dead, search the archives here). I read the mailing list archives and it didn’t seem like a big brouhaha to me, but feel free to read it over yourselves. Thanks to the power of the blogonets, you can read the author’s response to the criticisms as well as a response from AS IF, young adult authors who support intellectual freedom.
Update: The New York Times has also mentioned this story, but I’m not sure how they thought librarian.net was an “electronic mailing list.” They also go on to claim “Authors of childrenâ€™s books sometimes sneak in a single touchy word or paragraph, leaving librarians to choose whether to ban an entire book over one offending phrase” which I have never heard of before, either the sneaking or the banning. If anyone would like to enlighten me to other examples in the comments, I’d appreciate it. Also note, if it’s unclear or maybe you haven’t been here before and don’t know the place, I think the scrotum-bashers are over the top on this.
112 thoughts on “scrotum!”
Of course, certain body parts are evil. Why else would the director or producer of the 1961 crucifixion movie, King of Kings, have had Jeffrey Hunter’s armpit hair shaved prior to his depiction of Christ’s ordeal on the cross? Evil scrotums! Evil pee-pees! Evil body hair!
It may be a little innapropriate for a book to have such content when said book is directed towards young girls. Maybe if the book were for boys, it would be more, if not completely, acceptable. I’m pretty sure every elementary school boy has seen a scrotum, but when the book is for girls, it’s a little awkward.
Yes, it is important to protect our children from books. We must insure they learn about their body parts from other kids…
And people wonder why this country is in trouble…
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