A number of librarians have banned this year's Newberry Medal-winning children's book, The Higher Power Of Lucky, from school libraries based solely on the fact that the word "scrotum" appears on its first page. The titular (is that word allowed?) protagonist Lucky overhears the mysterious word when a neighbor claims his dog was bitten by a snake on the scrotum. First, I'm surprised many school librarians even know what a scrotum is. The ones I recall seemed to either be celibate by popular demand or unlikely to encounter a pair of nuts in their after-Children's Hours amorous adventures.
But even if the story is snicker-worthy, it's also really disgusting, and not just for implanting in my brain the mental image of a dog's balls with a pair of venomous fangs buried in them. I have to believe a good number of books with mild swear words are in tons of school libraries, but "scrotum" is so sanitary and technical that the only reason for banning it is to keep children from even thinking about parts of their own or their male classmates' bodies. Keeping them in the dark is not going to keep them from being curious, nor should they be kept from being curiousâ€”or informed.
Come on, librariansâ€”grow a pair!
Although I do have to question the author's choice of words in complaining about the ban. "The word is just so delicious," coos scribe Susan Patron. Indeed.