By Request, I'm Chiming In
So, I've had many people request my opinion on the whole deal with the latest Newbery Medalist, The Higher Power of Lucky and its use of the word "scrotum" in the first chapter.
First, just let me say that the reason I haven't contributed anything about this topic previously is because I felt that so many other people were already writing things about it. You can read a summary of the affair here, and some other clever thoughts here and here. I just didn't think that people wanted more to read about dogs' bollocks. But apparently, I was wrong, and who am I to second-guess my readership? Plus, whenever I am ever specifically requested to blab about a topic, I'm usually happy to oblige. (And oblige and oblige.)
So: I think that anyone who has actually read the entire book would think that this knee-jerk censorship is rather silly. Librarians who have stated that they have seriously considered the book and still wouldn't purchase it under the softy excuse that "it just wouldn't be appropriate for our patrons" are wimps.
Come on, people! It's about a dog getting bit by a snake in the crotch! Do you think that your library patrons have never watched America's Funniest Home Videos? Sheesh!
But if you want to censor the book, fine. I guess I can't come over to your library and stop you. However, I can give you a slam-bangin' good plan for doing the said censoring of said book.
1. Find as many copies of The Higher Power of Lucky as you can.
2. Turn to the pages that contain the word "scrotum."
3. Black out the word and write the phrase "dirty pillows" above it.
As we all know from the book and movie Carrie, substituting all references to human and animal anatomy with non-descript guilt-inducing catchphrases will result in the spontaneous development of telekenesis.
That's right -- an entire generation of American children will grow up with the ability to move objects with their mind and be tormented ruthlessly by their classmates in high school, and then go on to wreak bloody havoc at their senior proms. No, really!
So, as a warning: don't chaperone the dances for the Class of 2015. Just to be on the safe side.