I’m not going to write a lengthy post about the removal of Courtney Summers’s Some Girls Are as an optional — OPTIONAL — reading choice for students at West Ashley High School in Charleston, South Carolina. I’m going to instead direct you to Courtney’s impassioned discussion of this challenge to her book, along with Leila Roy’s commentary, and commentary from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
I am a staunch advocate of intellectual freedom and have been since day one. I find it horrifying and small minded when one parent’s problem with material overrides the rights of every student to have access to material that not only impacts their lives, but that they would have the opportunity to discuss and engage with under the guide of adults who care about them and who want them to KNOW that they’re cared about.
To say this particular removal — one laden with missteps and subverting policies left and right — feels particularly brutal is an understatement.
So I’m doing something.
Thanks to a few phone calls, I was in touch with Andria Amaral at the Charleston County Library System about what could be done to get this book into the hands of the teens who want them. She feels as passionately about this as I do, as she said to me that she wants to stand at the door of the high school and pass this book out to kids. More copies of the book have been purchased for the library for their access, too.
Let’s do something together with our collective reader, intellectual freedom loving power, shall we? Can we get this book into the hands of kids of West Ashley who want it?
If you are willing to buy a copy of Summers’s Some Girls Are, I will send it down to Andria, who will get it into those kids hands for free.
Between now and August 17, I would love to see my house become overfilled with copies of this book. I will box them up and ship them all down to Andria that week, so she can get them into the hands of eager readers. Because Andria is also coordinating the efforts of the Cynthia Hurd memorial donations, it is easier for me to collect everything and send them down to her once, rather than have them trickle in to her.
Think this is a costly endeavor? Let me direct you to how you can participate, even if you’re short on funds.
Some Girls Are is currently $1.99 on Book Outlet, and What Goes Around, which is a bind-up of Summers’s Cracked Up To Be and Some Girls Are is $1. Right now, there are over 200 copies between the two of these books on Book Outlet. Let’s make them all disappear.
Can you spring $1 or $2 or $10 to get this book to these kids? It seems like a cheap way to tell these teenagers that their voices — their lives — really do matter.
You can, of course, send a copy from anywhere. I am not going to do anything but drop them into a big box to ship out.
If you want to take part, please drop your name and email in this form, and I will email you with my mailing address to make this happen. If you cannot participate yourself, please pass this along to anyone who might want to help out.