Monday, December 11, 2006

Perfectly Normal???


Please pray for my friend Linda. She's meeting with the board of her library on Thursday to ask them to remove the book It’s Perfectly Normal, written by Robie Harris and illustrated by Michael Emberley. Linda stumbled upon the book when she was browsing the children's section. Thank goodness it wasn't her child who found it!

The book, if you're not familiar with it, is a sex manual for children. Linda, of course, immediately brought it to the library's attention. The library responded by moving it to the young adult (teen) section. Linda appealed the decision and asked that it be removed completely.

Here are some articles on the book:
Commentary: 'It's Perfectly Normal' to Corrupt Children by Lee Duigon

ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture

Planned Parenthood: It's Perfectly Normal

I encourage all of you to check your library's card catalog to see if they have this book on its shelves. If so, email them immediately and ask them to remove the book from the library altogether. At the very least, it should moved to the adult section. Then ask all your friends, neighbors, and family to do the same.

If you don't know how to contact your library, check here: LibWeb

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ugh!

As a last resort, you might be able to get them to move these books to their "parenting" section. I've seen some libraries do that with offensive children's books. Not optimal, of course, but a much more reasonable alternative to having it completely accessible to little ones.

Lisa said...

Thanks very much for all your efforts to promote good books in the library. I followed up immediately on the “It’s Perfectly Normal” book, and hope to see it leave our library system soon.

Beth said...

Maureen;

I would like to respectfully disagree with this tactic. It is more likely to increase circulation of this book than to get it out of circulation. Librarian’s and Library boards are very committed to the concept of freedom of information and the belief that only individual parents should control the reading of children. Asking a library to remove a book is the best single way of increasing its circulation. Every library hosts a banned books week, in which they prominently advertise every book that has been challenged and encourage people to check them out. Many people will read the book, possibly to their children for no other reason than to prove that no one can tell them what to do.

A better course of action is to get the library to carry a Catholic Sex education book, many titles are mentioned on the Couple to Couple league’s website.

http://ccli.org/store/onlineshopping.php?criteria=category&f_cat=chastity&catpr=30&order_by=name

If we resort to demanding the removal of books objectionable to Catholics, we are giving the library permission to remove and Catholic book that any other patron finds objectionable.

Linda B. said...

Beth,

I would encourage you to read the articles that Maureen has listed here. Last year this book was number one on the American Library Association's list of most challenged books. I think this speaks volumes. I am sorry but I can't sit back and do nothing. It is ridiculous to think that this book can't be removed from the library and replaced with a good book. If we don't stand up for what is right, who will?

Linda B.

Anonymous said...

I think Beth has a point. My librarian, is a pro-abortion former Catholic who routinely buys the most offensive books on subjects of the Faith and human life issues. I know that ojections got me nowhere when I discovered the slanderous book, "Hitler's Pope" on the shelves.I even had my pastor chime in, and it was indicated that the rebuttal book "The Myth of Hitler's Pope" was also owned by the library, so they weren't going to remove it, even though I used the Catholic League argument that they would NEVER allow an anti-gay, anti-Semitic, or anti-black book in the library.
The important difference was: "Hitler's Pope" was in the Biography (AKA non-fiction section)
and "The Myth of Hitler's Pope" was found in the religion section (librarians consider this the fiction section!)
I asked them to rectify this, and place them BOTH in Biography section, to no avail.
I have continued the battle, but have switched to another tactic. I once asked if I could donate good Catholic books to the library, but they are subjected to a liberal 'committee' which would surely reject them, however, when I request a brand new book that the library doesn't have, such as "Goodbye, Good Men" if they can't obtain it via Interlibrary Loan, they usually purchase it, and I've gotten many good Catholic books on the shelves for free.
Sometimes, it takes some insistence, with "Goodbye, Good Men" the librarian told me it was out of print. I offered her a copy of my Conservative Book Club catalogue to order from. I got the book!

Maureen Wittmann said...

Beth does make a very good point. And I would never ask the library to remove a book because it's anti-Catholic. Instead, I ask them to purchase rock solid Catholic books. This is why I started the Pope St. Nicholas group. We've been very affective in getting good Catholic books into public libraries.

However, in this case, I think it is worth the effort to try and get the book pulled. If you're successful in getting the book taken out of the library, it won't be on the contested book table because it's out of the library.

As Linda stated, this is THE most contested book, so it's probably already on every banned book display or list.

At the very least, let's get it in the adult section. This is not a book that simply rubs me wrong as a Catholic. It's a book that is dangerous to my children's safety as well as their purity. It should NOT be on the children's shelves where an innocent can pick up unknowingly.

It's worth the fight, imo. Praying hard for you Linda and your meeting on Thurs!!!!

Maureen Wittmann said...

BTW - see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PopeSaintNicholasV/ for help in suggesting good Catholic books to your public library. I encourage everyone to join the group. It's only a few emails per month.

On another note, I'll be posting some sample letters of concern on the blog - probably tomorrow. If you've written a letter to your library regarding It's Perfectly Normal, and like to share it, please email me: mwittlans@aol.com.

Theresa said...

If the images are child porn, why not attack it from that point of view? Removing their book from a library does nothing to stop the child porn in it. Why not attack the book itself not where it's shelved. Why not attack the author and the artist?

I hate that abortion is legal, but I have to face the fact it is legal, so attacking that book from that standpoint is going to be a mute point in the eyes of the current law.

You and I and many others recognize that book is blatant indoctrination of little children.

If you're going to fight something you have to fight effectively. A boxer wins by totally focusing on the other's weak point. A football team wins in the same way; a basketball team wins in the same way. Weak point, identify it, and attack it without mercy.

This book's weak point is it's picture content which are pubescent children and sex acts. What they are trying to do is get this passed our noses under the "education" clause.

Make them fight it on the picture content. Do you see?

Fact: Little children will not pay attention to mere words. That's why they printed pictures in their book.

Such images in the possession of a child molestor would be used to convict him, right? So pound of that idea home, wherever you protest that book.

Attack from a strong point. You are not going to win on the homosexual agenda. You are not going to win on the abortion agenda.

Try contacting this organization. >Http://www.thomasmore.org/< .

I suggest if you REALLY want their attention, you'll have to shock them. To shock them you will have to
just send them copy of the book.
I can't imagine them saying no, once they've seen those pictures.

But something else has occurred to me, there may have been another lawsuit on this book years ago. They would know how to look to find it if there is one. And they would be able to know if a strategy could be developed so this case could be opened.

Even if it is only the pictures that are removed, do you see how this would deconstruct the pornographic/pro-abortion/homosexual agenda of the book as it currently stands?
Little kids are not going look at a book with no pictures.

Linda B. said...

I went to the board meeting tonight. I think it went well. I will receive their decision by mail. I will keep you posted. Thanks for the prayers!