Scrotum. It's right there on the first page of Susan Patron's newly minted Newbery Award-winning novel, THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY. Scrotum. It's not that uncommon, in fact half the people I know have them. Scrotum. Apparently this is a scary word.
Because the book includes the word "scrotum," some people do not want the book in their schools and libraries. Blogs and listservs, teachers, librarians, readers, reviewers, have been debating "scrotum."
In the novel, Ray gets bit on the scrotum by a rattlesnake. (Ray is a dog.) Never mind that there are hundreds and hundreds of wonderful words in this small gem of a story. Or that using the "scrotum" is entirely in keeping with the smart, observant protagonist, Lucky. This one word is a lightening rod.
This is a Newbery book, singled out for its literary merit, and honored by the American Library Association. It was written by a librarian. To not carry it in a library infringes upon one's intellectual freedom. It denies the reader the opportunity to choose, or not choose, to read the book.
Recently, Publisher Weekly ran an article about this uproar . . . http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6416737.html?nid=2788. It includes our stance on the issue, as well as comments from Susan Patron.
What do you think about this?
(Posted by Lisa Yee)