Don’t shoot the messengers

Deenie Dont shoot the messengersRichard just sent me a link to Julie Bosman’s report in the NYT Arts Blog about the digitalization of Judy Blume:

“Beginning on Mar. 21, 13 of Ms. Blume’s books, including “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” “Blubber” and “Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself,” will go on sale, published by Random House Children’s Books. With their frank discussions of sex, class, divorce and puberty, Ms. Blume’s books carried a universal appeal among younger readers, but were often dismissed by librarians and teachers, keeping them on banned books lists for years.”

HOLD UP. Yes, Judy Blume  books have generally been enjoyed more by children than by librarians, but the latter are responsible for “keeping them on the banned books lists for years” only in the sense  that it is largely librarians who compile such lists, from actual book challenges, IN THEIR ATTEMPT TO STOP PEOPLE FROM BANNING BOOKS. Some credit where it’s due, please.

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Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.


  1. Logic fail. I’m trying to untwist that sentence, but all I can think of are the reporters who call during Banned Books Week wanting to know why librarians ban books.

  2. KT Horning says:

    Tangentially, I certainly hope the ebook has an updated cover.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wasn’t DEENIE the first digital book ever published for young readers? : )

  4. Elizabeth Law says:

    I agree, the Times paragraph is disappointingly stupid. And please show me a kid who ever read a Blume novel for its “frank depiction of…class.” Yeah, all that talk about class was what made her books so enticing.

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