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An awful, liberal library ... caught again

April 28, 2023

By Mike Weland

At the April 27 Boundary County Library Board meeting, Boundary County Watchman Adrienne Norris read a passage from a book she said she took from the library's children's section. She read a brief passage she contends was pornographic. Submitted a Material Reconsideration Request form as she should have. But she first asked about three other forms submitted earlier this year, not by her, but by another concerned citizen, challenging the books "Crank," "Impulse" and "Perfect" by bestselling author Ellen Hopkins, the most frequently banned writer in the U.S., according to a new report by PEN America.

"I'm still confused why it's taken three months to get these books at least removed or put upstairs, by Ellen Hopkins," Norris said, "But yesterday I was notified by another person of a book we have, and it's called 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' by Jesse Andrews. I'm just going to read a little bit of this, my son (age 17) is the only minor in the room, and I ask the Lord for forgiveness, 'Yeah, Earl, I’m going to eat her ...'"

Yes, Adrienne's recitation was too salacious to repeat in a forum that tries to be family friendly, but the book, which has been on the shelf at the local library since 2020, is rated for young adults ages 14-17, and was not catalogued in the children's section, but in the young adult section.

It made the New York Times Best Seller list, "the funniest book you'll ever read about death."

"It is a universally acknowledged truth that high school sucks," the Barnes and Noble overview reads. "But on the first day of his senior year, Greg Gaines thinks he’s figured it out. The answer to the basic existential question: How is it possible to exist in a place that sucks so bad? His strategy: remain at the periphery at all times. Keep an insanely low profile. Make mediocre films with the one person who is even sort of his friend, Earl.

"This plan works for exactly eight hours. Then Greg’s mom forces him to become friends with a girl who has cancer. This brings about the destruction of Greg’s entire life.

"Fiercely funny, honest, heart-breaking—this is an unforgettable novel from a bright talent, now also a film that critics are calling 'a touchstone for its generation' and 'an instant classic.'"

A book made into a film rated PG-13.

And a funny thing. Library staff said Norris stopped in just before the board meeting, went straight to the proper shelf and picked up "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl."

At the start of the board meeting minutes later, she was already turned to the right page. Page 60. She had a cheat sheet!

Can't be sure if the SCC Parent Association was Adrienne's source; St. Charles County (SCC) is in Missouri, after all ... but like the myriad Freedom Foundation chapters now proclaiming liberty across the land, there are an astounding number of nonprofit associations providing contributions to fellow patriots, "like yourself ... Give a little, or give a bunch," each providing title, page number and quotes ... "the platform, the education, and the tools for parents to become the best advocates for their children and to hold our public schools accountable," their website says.

"Our goal is to ensure that students are the number one priority when it comes to school governance and policy, and that the education received in our public schools aligns with our Missouri Constitution which is to preserve the rights and liberties of the people."

Lynn Silva, the new director of the Boundary County Library, recalls hearing of a patron filing a Material Reconsideration Request about a book in the Boundary County collection, but that was decades before she first volunteered nigh 25 years ago. She never saw one herself until the four mentioned above.

She assured that the three Material Reconsideration Request forms Norris expressed concern over regarding the books of Ellen Hopkins are by no means being ignored. Limited copies on hand had to be provided each trustee in turn to be read so that they might make an informed decision.

The library board will meet next in regular session at 10 a.m. Thursday May 18. They will meet again that day at 6 p.m. to hear public comment on "Impulse," "Crank" and "Perfect," so as to determine if the books should be banned, moved or left as catalogued.

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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