"Explicit" book pulled from middle school library in Marietta OK

Another day, another outraged parent, this time She's in Oklahoma. "It’s, it's awful... It's... I can't believe... I don't talk about that in front of my child -- and I don't expect it to be in a book that she can get from the library. I mean it's just... I'm speechless."

The book -- "TTFN"(-ta ta for now, sequel to "TTYL"- talk to you later) -- came from the Marietta Middle School library, and what's more -- it was on an advanced reading list worth eight points to any student who checks it out and reads it.

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I don't understand

After all these censorship discussions there are two things I cannot get my noggin around and that no one has an answer to:

1) If you don't like it or find it harmful why is the next logical step that no one gets to read it?

2) Why is it that in these matters one parent gets to make a decision for hundreds of other parents, kids and school staff?

Seriously. Dan, anyone? Little help?

Why Is Oral S3x In Kids Books In the First Place?

Chuck asks, "Seriously. Dan, anyone? Little help?"

Are you referring to me? If so, here is what I think.

"1) If you don't like it or find it harmful why is the next logical step that no one gets to read it?"

That is not the next logical step. To me the next step is to keep your own child from reading it. That's what I do in my own case. I do not go around removing books from libraries or cutting out juicy pictures, what have you. That said, there is nothing wrong with making others aware of something like this so they too can decide for themselves. That said, there is nothing wrong with suggesting the book should be removed from the public school. Are parents not even allowed to suggest it? Of course they are. Is the school library or administration required to do as the parent wants? Of course not. So individual parents have little power individually anyway and can't decide that "no one gets to read it."

"2) Why is it that in these matters one parent gets to make a decision for hundreds of other parents, kids and school staff?"

That is wrong too. I mean I agree with you, and that is wrong. But what you said is not really what actually happens. Let's say a parent finds TTFN objectionable because of its pervasive vulgarity and educational unsuitability. Let's say that parent tells other parents. Let's say that group of parents contains a member who becomes a "community organizer," now a qualification for the US presidency. Let's say the "community organizer" asks the school board to reconsider TTFN because of its pervasive vulgarity and educational unsuitability. Let's say the school board, on the basis of that request and on lawful concerns as expressed, for example, in Board of Education v. Pico, makes the legally proper decision to remove the book from the school library. Given all that, although the book first came to the attention of one parent, it was the school board itself that ordered the book removed. And the removal is lawful, not "censorship" or "book banning." The school board is specifically empowered "to make a decision for hundreds of other parents, kids and school staff." In such a case, the removal by the school board precludes the possibility that "one parent gets to make a decision for hundreds of other parents, kids and school staff." That is why I said what you said is not really what actually happens. In reality, school boards make such decisions, and they usually do so in a legal fashion not involving "censorship" or "book banning."

And I see another person, "anonymous" I think, in a comment below, told the mother of the 12 year old girl who asked what a BJ was that the mother fell down in her responsible to be responsible for her own child's reading. True, partially. That lady was misled into believing the book was appropriate for her child, so she did check but was fooled. Further, instead of telling parents they are falling down on the job, the bigger issue is why are so many books for children filled with oral s3x and the like in the first place? Oral s3x is getting rather common in children's books. That is the more important question. Why are books for kids still playing with teddy bears filled with oral s3x? Sure parents need to watch out, but no one really expects oral s3x to be in children's books. They don't yet know that's the latest in thing, and major organizations like the ALA support, promote, and even award that. So I'm okay with blaming parents, but first they should be giving proper notice and should not be misled, then everyone has to ask themselves why it has become okay to include oral s3x scenes in children's books in the first place.

-=-=-=-
http://www.SafeLibraries.org
http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/

I can't believe

that you find it preferable to type the word s3x than the word sex. Presumably you do belong to one SEX or the other? Let's get back into the cave shall we?

Ironic, But Blogs Sometimes Cut S3x

Birdie,

I totally understand what you are saying. I said s3x instead because it has been my experience that some blogs filter out comments containing certain HTML formulations or certain words. S3x is one of the words. So I try to use that formulation to bypass blog filters, if any. That's ironic to me, but that's why I do it.

And on my own blog, I try to say p-rn. Why? Because some people don't see my blog pages because they get filtered out due to that word. Again, ironic, but that's the way it is.

-=-=-=-
http://www.SafeLibraries.org
http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/

Depends on the motive for the suggestion

That said, there is nothing wrong with suggesting the book should be removed from the public school. Are parents not even allowed to suggest it?

The problem, boyo, is that all to often the demand is made for all the wrong reasons. "I don't like these concepts" just doesn't cut it.

Now, as an exercise for the student, and to see just how well you've been paying attention, kindly explain to the class, using specific terminology and properly defined concepts, under what conditions a book can be legally removed from a milieu.

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.

what

Do you have to do that? I don't like Dan or the things he believes in and even I don't think that's cool.

Insults are supposed to be funny.

Motive is Not an Element of a Crime

Fang-Face,

Motive is not an element of a crime. Looking for motive, in fact, might get the Lewiston, ME, Public Library in trouble when it considered motive as a reason for refusing to accept recompense for a book. Be that as it may, let's get back to the matter at hand.

When I say books may be removed legally, I do not mean because I oppose them, or some group opposes them, or anything that has to do at all with anyone in the community whatsoever. Rather, books may be removed legally under the conditions set out in US Supreme Court precedent, among other things. For example, see Board of Education v. Pico. http://laws.findlaw.com/us/457/853.html

I fully support any book removals that are made legally, such as in accordance with that Pico case. I do not support or encourage any book removals not grounded in the law.

Any book removals made in accordance with the law do not constitute "censorship" or "book banning." Claims that books removed legally under Pico constitute censorship or book banning are false as a matter of law.

If the book removals are not made in accordance with the law, the issue of whether that constitutes "censorship" or "book banning" remains, and I doubt it, but I'm not addressing that here as it is a separate issue.

So you have requested that I "kindly explain to the class, using specific terminology and properly defined concepts, under what conditions a book can be legally removed from a milieu." My answer is that my definition is irrelevant. What is relevant are existing legal definitions, such as in Board of Education v. Pico. So to answer your question, I refer people directly to that case and to other relevant legal support.

-=-=-=-
http://www.SafeLibraries.org
http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/

Motive is the primary determinant in censorship

"anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Sem[i]tic, and just plain filthy,"

None of these are valid concerns for removing books from any milieu.

And I will note that while you've wasted numerous pixels, you have failed to answer my question.

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.

Pico Quote

Fang-Face is quoting the Pico case. The parties stipulated and the court agreed that, not in so many words, but "just plain filthy" was the one acceptable reason to remove certain material from schools. And it is obvious and common sense besides. He can say I'm "wasting numerous pixels" all he wants, but the guidepost here is the Pico case, not me and not him.

-=-=-=-
http://www.SafeLibraries.org
http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/

Intent and Motivation are Central to the Censorship Inquiry

The Pico decision makes it clear that intent and motivation are central to the inquiry about whether the removal of books from a school library is unconstitutional:

"Our Constitution does not permit the official suppression of ideas. Thus whether petitioners' removal of books from their school libraries denied respondents their First Amendment rights depends upon the motivation behind petitioners' actions. If petitioners intended by their removal decision to deny respondents access to ideas with which petitioners disagreed, and if this intent was the decisive factor in petitioners' decision, then petitioners have exercised their discretion in violation of the Constitution."

Pico, 457 U.S. at 871.

["Petitioners" refers to the school board members; "respondents" refer to the students who sued to return the books to the school shelves.]

No Magic Words

One should know that the school board sued in the Pico tried and failed to defend its decision to remove the books at issue on the grounds that they found the books "just plain filthy" or "pervasively vulgar." (Read the case carefully - it's freely available at Findlaw.)

Thus, those phrases are NOT magic words - a school board simply can't say "pervasively vulgar" or "just plain filthy" or "educationally unsuitable" and make the book removal legal. School boards in Cedarville, Arkansas, Olathe, Kansas, and elsewhere can testify how they lost in the courts after making that claim when students and parents sued under the First Amendment. This argument is especially weak in the context of the school library, which, as the Court notes, is an area of "voluntary inquiry."

Notably, the Pico decision does NOT define what makes a book "pervasively vulgar." Other Supreme Court and federal court authorities do consider this, and it is clear that discussions of sex, sexuality, or the use of profanity does not make a book per se "pervasively vulgar," or harmful to minors.

What Pico does make clear is that one's distaste for an idea (and sex and sexuality are ideas protected under the First Amendment) cannot be the sole grounds for removing a book that has been found to be educationally suitable or appropriate for the library by the professionals entrusted with that job.

Pico

Warning. The way "anonymous" presents his/her argument, it appears Pico is useless. The US Supreme Court rarely decides useless cases. Read the case for yourselves, but the way "anonymous" worded things here is not what we are talking about. "Thus, those phrases are NOT magic words - a school board simply can't say 'pervasively vulgar' or 'just plain filthy' or 'educationally unsuitable' and make the book removal legal." While that is obviously correctly, it is not the situation we are talking about. While we don't know exactly what the school board did from the newspaper article, it is clear it did not just cite the magic words.

I fail to understand why people work so hard to minimize the few bright lines that exist to protect children from inappropriately sexualized material, but I do understand why they would do so anonymously.

-=-=-=-
http://www.SafeLibraries.org
http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/

Just plain filthy

Paper bags and applause were just plain filthy to the Taliban. Five hundred year old statues that had been carved into the face of a cliff were just plain filthy to the Taliban. All religious icongraphy was just plain filthy to the Taliban. All of Islam is just plain filthy to christo-fascists.

I can find the bible just plain filthy as well. Incest, genocide, advocating genocide, rape, adultery, drunkeness, drunkeness and incestuous rape, advocating murder, and in the end, one good person who became a social reformer was sacrificed on the altar of political expedience and hanged on a torture device. They broke his legs. There is a graphic and explicit description of spearing him while he was hanging there, perfectly defenseless.

Sheesh. What a vile and disgusting book! Won't somebody -- anybody! -- do something to protect us all from this vile filth?! And Won't Somebody Pllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaassssssssssssse Think Of The Children!

By the way, what exactly is the legal definition of "just plain filthy"?

Read the tagline. Go to my web site and check out my list of books which have banned or challenged. Most of them for "just plain filth".

Now, try to wrap you mind around the concept expressed in the tagline and consider that if the hypersensitive were fair and honest in their demands, they would ask that everything be banned. They don't do that, however, their demands are discriminatory. Hence: constitutionally infirm.

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.

Whose motive?

Motivation of the original complaint or suggestion should not matter. The only motivation that matters is the ones of the school and library. The ones that actually are responsible for that decision are the only ones I would look at. How they respond is crucial. Treat each complaint with respect and without fear of the publicity. Respond politely, think rationally. Even treat those publicity-hound parents with respect, but firmly inform them of the procedures set in place for such complaints.

Doing those things doesn't mean they have to remove every book someone objects to.

"Oral s3x is getting rather

"Oral s3x is getting rather common in children's books."

Um... no. Oral sex does appear in some YA novels. Bigger picture -- novels are descriptive, not prescriptive. The reality for some teenagers is that they are sexually active. Some teenagers have issues with alcohol and drugs. Some teenagers live lives (either by choice or thrust upon them by their environment) which are R-rated. They have a right to books which help them understand, explore, explain and cope with their lives.

It's entirely possible that the girl who was repulsed by the descriptions of oral sex will make more educated decisions about her sexual life based on that book.

If mothers don't talk to their daughters about sex, someone else will.

"there is nothing wrong with

"there is nothing wrong with suggesting the book should be removed from the public school." I just don't know how that was done in this case. The article above is lacking on details about the woman's actions, and the school had no comment in the article. Did she run to the news first, or talk to the school first? Was it a suggestion or did the school just react too quickly to avoid controversy and bad press and without a board meeting or any discussion?

"Oral s3x is getting rather common in children's books. That is the more important question. Why are books for kids still playing with teddy bears filled with oral s3x?" First there is a difference in "children's books" and "intermediate readers" and "young adult". Depends on the classification of whatever library or bookstore you are in. Those differences are usually easily determined by signage or simply asking someone. Second, What 10th grader is still playing with teddy bears? 10-12 grade was the recommended age for TTFN, according to this article. For that matter, what middle-schooler still plays with teddy bears? If you're implying younger ages, then did I miss the oral sex scenes in 'King and King' or 'Tango Makes Three'?

"That lady was misled into believing the book was appropriate for her child, so she did check but was fooled." That's unfortunate, but also considering the wording of that comment, the woman asked the "salesgirl" about it. Unless it was someone stationed in that particular department of the store or someone I dealt with on many occasions, I would not take a "salesgirl's" advice on it. I would look for more information. I know many bookstores that do not have knowledgable employees, and also it would be impossible to know the appropriateness of every single book within the bookstore. Yes, the woman made an attempt to find out about the book, and I'm not faulting her for that. Hopefully she was/is able to find other more reliable resources.

I have a daughter. Books like these, TV shows, media, magazines, comments from my daugther's friends all will be near impossible to control completely. A parent can't shield their children from every possibly wrong or inappropriate thing in this world. A parent SHOULD be able to monitor and limit the interaction with those elements and them into perspective if, and when, the child comes in contact with such things.

oral exam

To me the next step is to keep your own child from reading it. That's what I do in my own case. I do not go around removing books from libraries or cutting out juicy pictures, what have you. That said, there is nothing wrong with making others aware of something like this so they too can decide for themselves. That said, there is nothing wrong with suggesting the book should be removed from the public school.

Doesn't this mean that even if you've already made sure your kids aren't reading it the next step is to see that it's harder for someone else's to read it as well? What gives you that right?

I think very little of the religion you belong to but I would never prohibit a child from reading about whatever that religion might be.

Of course not. So individual parents have little power individually anyway and can't decide that "no one gets to read it."

You and everyone else have seen the terrific velocity at which a book is yanked from the shelf as soon as one outraged mother hits the local news screaming about filthiness.

Oral s3x is getting rather common in children's books.

I remember the first time I read Richard Scarry's "Cars and Trucks and Things that Suck."

Seriously, do you actually believe this? If you can find one book written for the teddy bear set that talks about oral sex I'll take Paddington out and get him drunk my own self.

They don't yet know that's [oral sex] the latest in thing, and major organizations like the ALA support, promote, and even award that.

If you can find an ALA award for promoting oral sex I'll nominate us both and come in drag to the ceremony.

Chuck, I Didn't Say That

Chuck,

I didn't say that. You said I said that "the next step is to see that it's harder for someone else's to read it as well." Then you asked, "What gives you that right?"

I didn't say that, Chuck, and I don't have that right, but I didn't say that. I said, "there is nothing wrong with making others aware of something like this so they too can decide for themselves." That is not saying I'm going to make it harder for others. I said I would inform others so they can decide for themselves. Interestingly, this is the very thing I accuse the ALA of *not* doing. So I am being totally consistent.

In my experience, when I have found inappropriate materials, I have informed other parents. Every last one of them thanks me for the heads up. What they do with that after that, I do not know. But as I said, "there is nothing wrong with making others aware of something like this so they too can decide for themselves."

Actually, I just did this, informing others, on a national basis. See "Warning to All Parents to Know What Your Child is Reading" at http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2008/09/warning-to-all-parents-to-know-what.html The title words come from the news article itself.

-=-=-=-
http://www.SafeLibraries.org
http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/

what's all this then?

But you did say ...

That said, there is nothing wrong with suggesting the book should be removed from the public school.

Again, what gives you the right to decide what everyone else's children are taught?

I know you have said that such removals are lawful and according to "Pico" (that's not all the decision means, either) and done by the elected school board.

But certainly you've seen enough of these removals to know that as soon as one sounds the alarm, especially in some parts of the country, the intended effect is to use social and religious pressure to get the book yanked fast (heh) and without a fair hearing the worth of the book.

Yes, Chuck, And It Appears We Agree and I Will Help You

Yes, Chuck, I did say that, but "suggesting" is different than "deciding."

And, to be crystal clear, SafeLibraries (that's me) does not support "us[ing] social and religious pressure to get the book yanked fast (heh) and without a fair hearing the worth of the book." Every community is different. It needs to do what is right for itself, not what it is badgering into by "social and religious pressure."

So I agree with you that "social and religious pressure" is not a valid reason for removing books.

Apparently, Chuck, we seem to be in agreement on this issue. I realize that there are plenty of "social and religious pressure" groups, as you suggest, and that people can get tired of the latest tirade using tired old tactics. I further realize it is easy to lump people together, like me with them. And I also realize my web site may not fully explain my position. So I do not blame you one iota for any misunderstanding you or anyone else has about me.

Chuck, if you would like to enlist the assistance of SafeLibraries in opposing "social and religious pressure" groups that are not also using means based in law to accomplish goals that are colloquially called "censorship" or "book banning," I will be happy to assist.

-=-=-=-
http://www.SafeLibraries.org
http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/

i agree

I think that's true. Why is it that you choose for my child. A short while ago a story about a penguin who was the child of two "dads" was put on the banned books list. I'm a gay mother, and my partner and I are offended and a little confused that such a good and helpful book was pulled from the shelves.

Because such determinations are entire subjective

Whether a book is good and useful, or whether it is vile, despicable obscenity depends entirely on the prejudices of the person considering it. At bottom, both viewpoints are merely opinion; statements that cannot be proven true or false.

Then too, information itself has zero morality; the use to which it is put depends entirely on the person perceiving it. There is much in any individual holy book of the world that can be good and useful, and yet, proto-fanatics will ignore the good and useful teachings to pervert such holy books into manuals of hatred, intolerance, and genocide.

You should be offended by censorship, however. Censorship, at bottom, is an act of stripping you of your authority over and responsibilty for your own self and reducing you to the status of property of the censor.

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.

Don't you understand????

The book about the penguin with two 'dads' is vile and disgusting.

It could make the child grow up and become..... a penguin. :)

People need to lighten up, I wanted to be a horse until I was six, then I wanted to be a dump truck.

I might still consider the dump truck idea.

Don't let simpletons offend or confuse you. Life is simply too short. Be a good parent, and your kids will be fine. Nobody ever died from having a gay parent or from reading a book.

Oh, Really?

If this were a discussion on FARK I'd have to ask for a photo.

Here's how it would look:

Oral sex

From article:
Graphic descriptions of oral sex are detailed in passages discussing recreational drug use. What is even more shocking -- a question in class about how many calories a tablespoon of a certain bodily fluid contains, all in the pages of a book, aimed at young adults.

why?

Why pull this specific passage out of the article? Yes, we can all read the article for ourselves, thank you.

Why not?

>Why pull this specific passage out of the article?

Because many people only read the comments to articles. Especially on stories like this that come up frequently. Was bringing to the surface what the primary concern was with the book.

Sex sells. The mention of oral sex will get way more people to read this article.

Why do you care whether I pull the specific passage out of the book?

why indeed?

Maybe because I had already read the article before reading any comments and I don't care to read it twice. Maybe because saying most people don't read the articles is a big assumption on your part. Maybe because usually when someone quotes a passage from an article, they have something of substance to add.

I don't care about that specific passage. I would have asked about it with any other quote from the article without adding anything to it. I thought perhaps you had an incomplete post.

That and I get tired of those that feel the need to add shock value for the sake of shock value. Quote the passage, yes. But please don't quote it just because it's the naughty bits...so to speak.

Shock value

There was no shock value. How much shock value can there be in a book that is being given to middle schoolers?

I did not say that "most" people would not read the article but that "many" people would not. I did not look at the article until the comments started to pile up.

>>before reading any comments and I don't care to read it twice.

Tough cookies. You read the comments and my comment was there. I had to read you whining about reading the comments. Don't like a comment? Don't read it.

Shocking

"How much shock value can there be in a book that is being given to middle schoolers? " Apparently a lot, based on the comments on this site, the article and the fact the press jumped on this story. And the mother did say she was shocked about the content from a school library book. Or did you not read the article?

Many may not be most, but many is definitely more than a few. But I doubt you have polled all the readers and commenters of this site to know that for sure. Who knows, I might be in the minority that actually try to be informed on something before commenting.

Don't complain about my comment. You didn't have to read it and you sure didn't have to reply to it. Simply pass it by. Or as you say, tough cookies.

Exactly

>Don't complain about my comment. You didn't have to read it and you sure didn't have to reply to it.

And you did not have to read the original "shocking" comment.

How Long?

Boy we could keep going on like this, couldn't we? :-)

Last word

Job has no patience compared to me. I will have the last word. Don't think so, just try me.

Patience is the one virtue I

Patience is the one virtue I don't have. Your turn.

Review on Amazon

I bought this book for my daughter only after asking the salesgirl in the store if it was appropriate for a 12 year old, I was assured it was. Last night my daughter came up to me and asked what a bl*wjob was. Apparently this is discussed in the book. Needless to say she will NOT be reading anymore books by this author or in this series

You failed your parental responsibility

Why didn't you read the book before you bought it? You had it right there in your hand and you didn't even crack the cover? Would you give your 12 yr old a pistol without clearing it to make sure it was safe to do so first? Neither the salesclerk, the publishing industry, or anyone else is responsible for your failure to be a fit parent. Put on your big-girl panties and deal with it.

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.

Interesting

What I found even more interesting than the article, were the comments!

Graphic descriptions of oral

Graphic descriptions of oral sex are detailed in passages discussing recreational drug use. What is even more shocking -- a question in class about how many calories a tablespoon of a certain bodily fluid contains, all in the pages of a book, aimed at young adults.

I did read the article so I saw that. I meant "what is your problem with that specifically?" I realize it's hot stuff, so to speak. But I wanted a more specific answer. If you please.

I bought this book for my daughter only after asking the salesgirl in the store if it was appropriate for a 12 year old, I was assured it was. Last night my daughter came up to me and asked what a bl*wjob was. Apparently this is discussed in the book. Needless to say she will NOT be reading anymore books by this author or in this series.

This is the question that never gets addressed: why does a parent like this get to decide that no one at a school gets to read the book?

I'd like my child to read it. Does this mean I can ask the school to require all pupils to read it?

Sexual education, even at an early age, is not corrosive spiritual, mental, physical or social poison. It's a suit of armor. If she doesn't know what a blau yob is and gets "asked" about it by some dude then it makes her mother one step closer to being a grandmother with no gray hair.

Specifics

>"what is your problem with that specifically?" I realize it's hot stuff, so to speak. But I wanted a more specific answer. If you please.

No problem. Just wanted to bring that to the surface for those people that did not read the article. Librarians like to mock the parents that have concerns about books. There are different levels of parents that object to books. Some don't want to see the word "darn" in a book while others only comment if the material is sexual. Wante dto point out what the controversy was over. Many people skip over these articles because it is another nut parent objecting to something. Just want to bring to the surface what is being objected to.

"Librarians like to mock the

"Librarians like to mock the parents that have concerns about books."

I think you'll find that most librarians applaud parents who take an active role in their childrens lives. What we mock are parents who have concerns over what other children read.

mocking

I am not mocking her objections to this book. She has the right to object to it. She has the right to tell her child not to read it, and from the article it sounded like her child didn't want to read it after finding out it was "gross". She has the right to question why it was in the school library in the first place. No one is saying that she should just deal with it.

I mock the parents who go straight to the media proclaiming, "The library is stocking porn. I can't believe my child could bring this book home from the library of all places. The library is supposed to be a safe haven for my children. Don't librarians read all day long? How could they not know what was in this book? Who's protecting my children? Doesn't anyone care about the children anymore?" I mock the parents that don't talk to library staff or school/city officials at all and just go straight to the local news station to declare their outrage at such a travesty. (From this article there is no mention of what she did after reading part of the book. The article does not indicate if she went the school first and followed complaint procedures or if she went to the media first. So I don't know if she falls into this category, so I don't mock.)

I mock the politicians of this fine state who try to get the state to withhold funding to any library that doesn't put books with any sexual content under lock and key. Politicians who do so because a parent went screaming to the media over King and King. The library involved in that case didn't know anyone objected to the book until the local news crew showed up. I mock the politicians because the resolution fell straight down party lines and I doubt many of them even knew what they were voting on. I mock the politicians because it failed miserably.

bringing the heat

Comment of the year

stands on chair, applauds

Thanks

Why, thank you. *bows and blushes*

age level?

From the article: "The book is recommended for older students, grades ten through twelve, and is written in "instant message" style, depicting online conversations between three fictional eleventh grade girls." If it was actually for older students, why was it in the middle school library? Marietta is not a small enough town to have a combined middle school/high school.

Also from the article: "it was on an advanced reading list worth eight points to any student who checks it out and reads it." Okay, that explains it. It wasn't a reading list compiled by a teacher or librarian. It was Accelerated Reader or some such program. The library gets a general list of books and computer software with tests on those books. The library staff and teachers can't possibly review every single book and test. I've seen AR used for bonus credit in classes or for prizes (at least at my local schools). And I do know one school system that does use the AR test for a graded assignment. I have used AR myself and don't really feel the tests are that great.

As for age-appropriateness, the only criteria AR uses is reading level...not content. This could have easily been in middle school reading level, especially considering the instant messaging format it was written in.

"I don't expect it to be in a book that she can get from the library." I just don't understand the misconception that libraries are safe places--both with the type of books they're 'supposed' to have and physically safe to leave children alone.

"I just don't understand the

"I just don't understand the misconception that libraries are safe places--both with the type of books they're 'supposed' to have and physically safe to leave children alone."

Thank you! Whenever parents ask me if it's okay to leave their children at the library I ask, "Would you leave them at the mall?" I then explain that libraries are public buildings.

Link to book

Discussed before

This tome has been discssed before. It was junk then and it is junk now. There is no redeeming social value in this, it is simply pulp for teens.

Around the wrong way?

If you americans were a bit more open about sexuality and a bit less liberal about gun control you might find you had fewer problems with teen pregnancy and a few less Columbine killings.

For gawd sake they are doing it anyway - you might as well let them read about it!

Gun control

Don't talk to us about Columbine. As if other countries don't have shootings. Dunblane massacre.

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