Thursday, August 12, 2010

Geography Club

I've read a few books by Brent Hartinger and I can confidently say that the amount of "explicit sexuality" is almost non-existent. Except that it's sex. That is to say, there is sex, but there is nothing explicit about it. Brent Hartinger would agree with me. In fact, he already has. In an interview by the Kids' Right to Read Project, Hartinger states: "the sexuality in my book is pretty mild, especially compared to other teen novels. In most cases, I think that’s just an excuse to attack it because it involves – shhhh! mustn’t be spoke out loud! – gay people." In Wisconsin, a group called the West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries went so far as to claim "obscene or child pornography." Sometimes I wonder if these groups even know about porn, because to claim that this novel is like porn would be to say that decaf coffee is like Red Bull: they are two very different extremes. I am happy to note that the West Bend library voted 9-0 to keep the books right where it is, and where it should be, in the Young Adult sex- uh, I mean section.

Author: Hartinger, Brent
Title: Geography Club
Publisher: HarperTempest

Challenged at the West Bend, Wis. Community Memorial Library (2009) as being “obscene or child pornography” in a section designated “Young Adults.” The library board unanimously voted 9–0 to maintain, “without removing, relocating, labeling, or otherwise restricting access,” the books in the young adult category at the West Bend Community Memorial Library. The vote was a rejection of a four-month campaign conducted by the citizen’s group West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries to move fiction and nonfiction books with sexually explicit passages from the young adult section to the adult section and label them as containing sexual material.

Source: Books Banned or Challenged in 2009-2010, Robert P. Doyle

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