Omaha author (and former newspaper columnist) Rainbow Rowell did not grow up well off. She wrote back in her column back in 1997 that, “We went from desperate to poor. And poor felt so good.”
In Eleanor & Park, her award-winning novel for teens, she writes about a romance between a pair of poor teens who face trouble from the bullies who surround them.
But as Omaha World-Herald columnist Erin Grace notes in her column this week, Eleanor & Park includes a number of offensive words from the bullies (imagine that, bullies who say bad things…) and abuse from those bullies and Eleanor’s stepfather.
Because of these disturbing elements, Rowell was uninvited from doing a reading in Anoka County, Minnesota library and a group called the Parents Action League has asked the school district to remove their 70 copies of the book from their Anoka-Hennepin school libraries. Even more concerning, Grace reports, “the group also called for the librarians who chose Eleanor & Park for the district’s voluntary summer reading program to be punished.”
So far, all that’s happened is that Rainbow Rowell’s book visit has been cancelled. The Anoka libraries have no history of removing books from the library and it sounds as though the librarians are not facing any punishment.