Friday, April 18, 2008

Racy Books, Traumatized Librarians

I'm not going to mention the title, because people might go pick it up. But really, does YA fiction have to be SO graphic about sex? The reviews don't hide this-- I think I just loved the cover so much that I had to read it. This is exactly why I try to read everything before I buy it. Sigh.

Had a student yesterday ask why I didn't have Meg Cabot's Ready or Not, since it is the sequel to All-American Girl. I told her it was inappropriate, and she wanted to know why.

"8th grade health class issues," I replied.

"Huh?" quoth she.

"With her boyfriend." Blank stare. "The book is about whether she is ready or not to... have relations with her boyfriend."

She still didn't get it. I said she would have to ask her mother. Then she got it. I cannot imagine having a conversation with my middle school librarian like this without dying a thousand deaths, but the student sneered in a way that indicated I should have just yelled "sex!" across the library. See? See what these books are doing to the youth of America? And people have complained about Naylor's Alice books?

For librarians-- you might pick up Bennett's The Uncommon Reader. It has its missteps as well, but how can you not love a book about Queen Elizabeth becoming addicted to reading?


  1. It does sound like quite the challenge these days, being a middle school librarian. I started Ready or Not, having enjoyed the first book. I was listening on MP3, and I just couldn't for the life of me get into it. And I certainly wouldn't have been comfortable reading it in middle school, either.

  2. Now I *really* want to know the title of the scandalous book.

    In other news, Adam Selzer's PIRATES OF THE RETAIL WASTELAND came out April 8th. Have you gotten a hold of it yet?

  3. I'm curious of the title as well. Just to see if I've read it or have it on hand to read.

  4. Wow! I knew you must be in a middle school when I saw the title of your post. I have this issue a lot. Lately, it's been with the graphic novels. Some are a little more "graphic" than necessary :)