A parent of a Bossier Parish eighth grader called our newsroom this week about a book at the school library. The book is TTYL. Her child had checked it out and took it home to read.
The book contains explicit sexual descriptions, so explicit I can't even read them on television. So how does such a book end up in the middle school library?
School officials say they relied on outside book reviews and decided this book was fine. From the date due card on the book, it has been very popular.
Our society restricts what movies children can see, there are warning labels on video games and parents keep a close eye on what children view on the Internet.
It just makes sense that some mature subject matter not be put in the hands of children too young to understand it.
Let me make this clear. I am not for censorship. I believe people have the right to read this book. However, I also believe in common sense. And I'm not sure it's the best judgement to make a book like this available to 11-year-old school children.
Let me know what you think. I'm James Smith.
"Absolutely horrible and distasteful for school library to make a book with such sexual content available to 11 year olds." - Kay Asher
"I am writing about your station's recent coverage of the Bossier Parish parent's outrage regarding TTYL by Lauren Myracle. I can understand both sides of the argument, but that is not my issue. While you are giving all of this publicity to a book that will only be read more because of the attention, there is book news that should have received just as much, if not more, exposure. John Corey Whaley is a local author. He grew up in Springhill, Louisiana. He has a BA and MA in English from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. He even taught English in Springhill and Shreveport. Why is he so special? At the end of January, the American Library Association, or ALA, honored him with the William C. Morris YA Debut Award and Michael L. Printz Award for his novel Where Things Come Back. The William C. Morris YA Debut Award "honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature" (ALA). The Michael L. Printz Award "is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature" (ALA). Both awards have been created in the past decade, but they are very prestigious awards. The Morris award is the highest honor that is granted to a debut author by the American Library Association. The Printz award is even higher, in my opinion, as it is the young adult equivalent of the Newberry or Caldecott award. These are not the only honors John Corey Whaley has received from the literary community, but they are among the most important. We should be proud of what this remarkable young man has achieved and give him the attention he deserves." - K. Beck