I absolutely adore Sarah Ockler’s debut novel TWENTY BOY SUMMER for the way it addresses grief and loss so poignantly, for the authenticity of her characters, and the story itself.
Recently, her book was challenged in a hateful way. Read about it, and Sarah’s eloquent thoughts on censorship here. Enter to win a copy of her book at my xillion prizes giveaway.
You can also win a “filthy books” prize pack: SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson, SLAUGHTER HOUSE FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut, and TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler here.
A writer friend of mine recently received a nasty letter from a Texas librarian about a “bad” word she used once in a beautiful, heartfelt and otherwise “clean” middle grade novel.
What the … ?
I don’t swear much. [Except when my life is threatened by a bad driver] But the very existence of this letter warrants a string of expletives.
Contemporary realistic novels, by necessity, reflect the world back at itself. And the world swears. A lot. I’m not saying books need to imitate reality word for word. Yet, a well placed “bad” word can show character, make the drama in a scene believable, or deepen a revelation.
And do teens or even pre-teens really learn these words from BOOKS? Don’t be a boil-brained clotpole! My two pre-teen sons know every word imaginable. Which they learned out in the world. They also know they can’t use them around me. I’m a huge advocate of polite discourse.
And a huge advocate of discourse period.
Which is why books should not be banned.