Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Higher Power of Lucky & Three Wishes

So what do The Higher Power of Lucky and Three Wishes have in common? Read on...

It’s unbelievable. The controversy around this year’s Newbery Award-winner, The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron is growing in leaps and bounds. The ugly head of censorship has been rearing it’s head in the New York Times, on Publisher Weekly’s Website, and in blog after blog. It seems that a lot of librarians have trouble with the word “scrotum”, and that’s enough to keep the book away from sensitive young readers! I must admit that I agree totally with Ms. Patron who explained that scrotum is a “delicious” word. Unbelievable, and of course one of the many ironies (I’m not even going to go into sex-driven advertising or music videos here) is that as the ‘ban the book frenzy’ reaches it’s peak, we are just about to celebrate Freedom to Read Week. Don’t they get it? Banned books are wildly appealing to the young and curious, as I first learned back in the 1960’s when J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye was banned from my high school. Even the kids who had an aversion to reading devoured that book (or at least key passages of it). So, congratulations Ms. Patron. You can expect to sell more books and you are in very good company!

It was only a year ago that a huge controversy developed when one school district in Ontario chose to drop Deborah Ellis’ Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak from a provincially sanctioned readers’ choice award, again just as we were heading into Freedom to Read Week!

For anyone in the Victoria, BC area, the Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable will be hosting Deb Ellis as part of our celebration of Freedom to Read Week at Spectrum Community High School @ 957 Burnside Rd in the school library @ 7:30.

Or you can go to to find out how you can celebrate this important week in your own area. Defy the censors. Read a banned book!



fahrenheit451moderator said...

The Pelham Public Library in Fonthill, Ontario invited Deborah Ellis to speak about "Three Wishes" as soon as we heard about the Toronto and York school boards' reaction. She is a wonderful speaker. More importantly, she is a wonderful person. She continues to work at another job, while writing and the proceeds of many (if not all) of her books go to very important causes around the world. I would recommend that anyone in the area go to hear her. More information about Deborah Ellis can be found here:
There are at least 5 boards now that have restricted access.

If you are interested in taking the "Banned Book Challenge," check out our web log for details.
Deborah Ellis was invited by our library to take the challenge and she is going to give it a go.

readingkidsbooks said...

Good for you. I love it when controversy inspires action. And yes, I couldn't agree more...Deb is a wonderful person and so are her books.