The Reading Corner is a place where books of all genres are examined and reviewed. Comments, questions and disagreement are welcomed. Grab some coffee and a comfy chair and make yourself at home.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Short one today

I love Fizzgig. He is the best.

I appear to have developed the flu (dun dun DUNNN), but don't worry -I'm recovering quickly. I spent yesterday in bed with a ridiculously high fever and finally got some Motrin (thanks again, Laura!), took a long nap and woke up feeling only crappy, instead of thinking I was on the edge of death. I've continued taking Motrin every few hours, and right now I'm only feeling yucky -sore throat, earache and wooziness. Much better than yesterday, when I couldn't even get out of bed to get a bottle of water without needing a 45 minute nap afterward. Yesterday was awful. Today I have felt good enough to go get food and coffee, despite having everything be really weird tasting and sounding. It's sort of like I'm in an aquarium -everything is echoing and tinny. Blah.

Okay, enough about that, onto books.

How many of you have heard that Scholastic books has asked an author to rewrite portions of her book before they'll consent to sell it due to offensive material? How many of you know what that offensive material is?

One of the main characters has lesbian parents, that's what.

Here's what the author, Lauren Myracle, says about it:
“A child having same-sex parents is not offensive, in my mind, and shouldn’t be ‘cleaned up.’” says Myracle, adding that the book fair subsequently decided not to take on Luv Ya Bunches because they wanted to avoid letters of complaint from parents. “I find that appalling. I understand why they would want to avoid complaint letters—no one likes getting hated on—but shouldn’t they be willing to evaluate the quality of the complaint? What, exactly, are children being protected against here?

“Over 200,000 kids in America are raised by same-sex parents, just like Milla. It’s not an issue to clean up or hide away,” says Myracle. “In my opinion, it’s not an ‘issue’ at all. The issue, as I see it, is that kids benefit hugely from seeing themselves reflected positively in the books they read. It’s an extremely empowering and validating experience.”

I'm pretty appalled at Scholastic. For a group that aims at getting kids to read, censorship seems way out of line. If a kid's parents don't want them reading about gay people, don't let them buy the book -but an author should never have to change their work because someone is afraid of getting an angry letter. That's censorship, and it's ridiculous. I give mad props to Myracle for standing up for her work.

There's a petition, which you can sign here (although the site's been down for about an hour, probably due to large numbers of people trying to get in on it since it's all over Twitter right now), and I encourage you to do so -even if you don't support gay rights, at least support an author's right to write what s/he wants to without fear of being censored for it.

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