The buzz at mother daughter book club with my high school daughter a couple of weeks ago was about The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron. A middle school brother of one of the girls has been assigned to read it in class. Several moms heard it was controversial, but none of us has read it. It’s a Newbery Honor Book that School Library Journal lists as appropriate for 4th through 6th graders.
As I understand it, much of the controversy centers around the use of the word “scrotum” in the first page of the book. There is also mention of 12-step programs and a higher power. Even the New York Times weighed in on the controversy, with an article (click here for link) about the uproar the book has created among school librarians who decide whether or not to shelve it at their schools.
Our girls are obviously older than the target audience, and they have certainly learned appropriate anatomical vocabulary in health class by now. But we’re considering reading it along with The Crucible for our April meeting and discussing what’s considered questionable for younger audiences. Stay tuned.