library sued for “hate crime”

wisconsin library which carries a young adult book with a gay protagonist is being sued by fundamentalists for traumatizing them

A loopy band of Christians in Wisconsin is suing a library for $120,000, claiming they had been traumatised by a book which they say is “explicitly vulgar, racial, and anti-Christian”.

According to this report, they are also demanding the right to “publicly burn or destroy by other means” the novel for young adults – Baby BeBop, by acclaimed Los Angeles writer Francesca Lia Block.

The suit against the West Bend Community Memorial Library in Wisconsin has been brought by Robert C Braun of the Christian Civil Liberties Union and three others – Joseph Kogelmann, Rev Cleveland Eden, and Robert Brough – “all of whom are elderly”. They are each demanding £30,000 in damages.

you’re on your own folks.

from the Harper website:

Though grounded in the realities of L.A. and urban life-at both its grittiest and most beautiful-Block’s work is otherworldly and almost transcendent in its reach. The daughter of a poet and a painter, Block has been influenced by the visual arts, by her childhood love of Greek myths and fairy tales, as well as by music and dance. While at the University of California at Berkeley, Block’s early influences expanded to include the magic-realist fiction of Gabriel Garc’a Marquez and Isabel Allende, as well as the modernist poetry of H.D. (Hilda Doolittle).

Block has described her work as “contemporary fairy tales with an edge,” where the real world and its troubles find solace through “hope and magic…” Although she has received numerous awards, including citations from the American Library Association, School Library Journal, and The New York Times Book Review, responses from her readers are the most rewarding. “I have received letters from lovers who read my stories to each other in bed, people who have named themselves, their pets, or bands after my characters, gay kids who tell me my books let them know ‘it’s okay to be gay,’ and wounded kids thanking me for helping them feel empowered. These are the greatest gifts I could receive.”


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