My “official discussion post” for Annie on My Mind went up on AfterEllen a little while ago, where it seems like many AE readers had similar swoon-worthy feelings about the book as I did. A much more in-depth and nuanced discussion about its relative dated-ness has been going on over at Goodreads, though. I’ve realized that the dated-ness didn’t bother me because I actually LIKE dated books, perhaps? At least from that era—dramatic YA from the ’70s spoke to my soul as a kid.
I’m also curious about people’s favorite covers, since I’ve seen SO MANY at this point. I personally hate the current, new and shiny one (the one furthest right in this graphic). It just doesn’t fit the book, or Liza or Annie, to me. The one in the middle is actually truest to the book (along with the one that has them on the Staten Island Ferry), but I do like that all the other ones had the balls to have them holding hands so intensely. Although that look Liza is giving Annie on that rock during their picnic—oh man, we all know that look, too.
So, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I might do to make very clear that the “solution” to fixing the Cape Henlopen school board’s ill-informed, intolerant, hasty removal of The Miseducation of Cameron Post from the Blue Hen reading list on the grounds that it has too much “inappropriate language”—given that it has now been (resoundingly) emphasized to that board that several of the other books on the list have similar language—is ABSOLUTELY NOT to remove those other books, too.
Attempting to fix a hasty act of censorship with more censorship would be, as I said in my letter to the members of the Cape Henlopen school board, a fucking travesty.
Especially because, as I was reminded on facebook today, other books on that very list (Eleanor and Park and The Fault in Our Stars among them), have also been subject to their own completely unreasonable and intolerant and misguided censorship experiences.
Which is, in fact, one of the exact reasons why the Cape Henlopen school board’s rational for removing Cam Post from the Blue Hen list is just so obviously suspect: other books on the very same list have recently been censored and challenged due to their “offensive” language, and yet, the Cape Henlopen school board has very strangely singled-out The Miseducation of Cameron Post, and only The Miseducation of Cameron Post, for removal on those grounds. It just doesn’t add up.
But now that the board is clearly aware of this, I can think of nothing that would be more heartbreaking and plainly wrong than if they attempt to censor additional books, too. (And some of the board members have already emailed vague threats about doing just that.)
I want to celebrate ALL of the books on the original, uncensored 2014 Blue Hen summer reading list—just the way those dedicated, informed librarians in Delaware originally intended. I think, really, it’s a pretty kick-ass list in terms of the range of YA books represented. I’m honored, truly, that Cam Post was included on it (well, originally, anyway).
So what I’m gonna do is give away every single book on that list to one reader. The whole list—every book—shipped to you. I’ll ask the good folks at Browseabout Books (in the Cape Henlopen area) to help me out with the logistics of this.
And those books are:
The Fault in Our Stars—John Green
Butter—Erin Jade Lange
Daughter of Smoke & Bone—Laini Taylor
The Scorpio Races—Maggie Stiefvater
If You Find Me—Emily Murdoch
More Than This—Patrick Ness
Eleanor and Park—Rainbow Powell
Boxers--Gene Luen Yang and Lark Pien
The Miseducation of Cameron Post—emily m. danforth
The copy of The Miseducation of Cameron Post will be signed (and I’ll work on maybe getting a few of the other books signed too—more updates on that, later).
All you have to do to enter is to use your twitter account (easiest for tech-challenged me to track and collate) to explain, in not very many characters, why you want/need these books. Use the hashtag #LeaveTheBlueHenListAlone so that I can find your entry. (The limited character count is part of the challenge.) And you have to do this by next Friday, July 11th. Feel free to tweet about this as many times as you’d like—the more entries the better.
I’ll compile all the entries and find some completely random way (I promise) of choosing a winner.
Let’s celebrate this awesome list of books and the librarians who came up with it. The whole thing—uncensored—just as they intended.
This is a GREAT idea! Having read many of these titles, and being familiar with some of the others, this is a really excellent list that in fact covers a lot of other important issues (other than lesbianism, which of course is ALWAYS important). Our point with comparing the curse words in Cam Post to the other titles isn’t to say that the other titles are “naughty,” too, but that they are ALL excellent novels, picked out carefully by librarians, and that judging any of them solely on a few words is entirely anti-intellectual.
(Graphic by Heather Hogan, of course!)
According to this article The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth has been removed from the summer reading list because of objectionable language.
We all know this is bullshit. So, in an effort to get this book into as many hands as we can, we are looking to see if we can find booksellers in Delaware who would be willing to work with us to make the book available to teens via donation from folks like us.
Ideally, we would be able to purchase copies of the book and the store would make them available to teens who want to read this book. Everyone wins.
Do you know of any bookstores in the area who would be willing to set something like this up? Let me know, please. And please, spread the word.
The AE crew is working on a more detailed post about the situation and ways we can help. But for now, please spread the word!
[image description: an old hardcover copy of the Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall. The cover shows only the title, author, and red, yellow, and black vertical stripes]
I like how happy this design and these colors make this utterly depressing title sound. Like LA LA LA, we are going to go eat some Oh Henry! bars! And play some futbol in Germany! And then see the Rockettes! And buy some ’70s furniture!