The Newbery-winning novel The Higher Power of Lucky made the front page of the New York Times today, but not as part of a book review. In an article mentioning censorship, banning, and shocked librarians, Julie Bosman reports,
The word “scrotum” does not often appear in polite conversation. Or children’s literature, for that matter.
As Bosman acknowledges, the reaction to "the word" has been a hot topic on the list-servs and blogs for a few weeks. AOL picked up the Times story as the lead news item on its home page, ensuring that an already-large audience for the article will be huge. I predict that NPR and the weekly news magazines jump on the bandwagon, too.
The Higher Power of Lucky is #4 on the Times' children's chapter book bestseller list, and one week ago Julie Just critiqued the book in a New York Times Book Review blurb, without noting any canine body parts,
This is the kind of novel where a smart 10-year-old can run away from home into a dangerous dust storm, lugging her dead mother’s ashes and wearing a red silk dress. Still, Lucky’s story has its charm, along with (naturally) an upbeat ending.
Among the bloggers weighing in on the Times' coverage of the controversy are the Horn Book's Roger Sutton, teacher and author Monica Edinger, and the group at As If! Authors Support Intellectual Freedom.