Charleston County library giving away hundreds of copies of challenged book thanks to blogger

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A book that was removed from West Ashley High School's summer reading list because of a parent's challenge is now available at the Charleston County Library for free, thanks to a blogger and hundreds of donations.{}

The high school removed the book "Some Girls Are" by Courtney Summers in July after a parent complained about its adult content. When blogger Kelly Jensen heard about it, she asked readers to donate a copy of the book so she could send them to the Charleston County library -- and they responded.{}

Jensen says in her blog that she received 830 copies of the book and enough money to pay for the shipping (and 100 more books) to have them all sent to the library.{}

Andria Amaral, the library's young adult manager,{}was thrilled to receive the donations. The library is offering the book free to anyone who wants a copy.{}

"I wanted to get involved in this project because, as a young adult librarian, of course I stand for the freedom to read and intellectual freedom," Amaral said. "But as a reader I personally stand behind this book. I love this book. It's one of my favorite books to recommend to teenagers. I've recommended this book to teens over the years many, many times and have had them come back and tell me enthusiastically how much it meant to them."{}

The book covers difficult subject matter such as sexual abuse and bullying but Amaral said that's even more reason for teens to read it.{}

"It's not an easy read. It's a gritty, realistic slice of a part of teenage life that probably a lot of adults would like to pretend doesn't happen but it does and that's why it's so powerful, really," Amaral said.

While not every teen faces these issues a lot do, she said.

"My hope is that the kids who read this book will have a chance to make their own minds up, to decide for themselves what they think of it, to have that choice returned to them," she said. "The big thing is, and they've proven this over and over again, that reading increases empathy and so I would hope that kids who read this book would help to empathize more with their friends if they see them go through a similar situation."

She said parents are welcome to read the book as well and discuss it with their children.

"In this book, throughout all the traumatic experiences the main character has, the adults in her life consistently turn a blind eye and by having this book available for young people what I'm hoping to say is we see you. We care about you. We care about your life."

Amaral thanked everyone who contributed to the project.{}

"I think it's amazing and I think it speaks to how much people really do care about teenagers and especially teenage girls and they want their stories to be heard," she said.{}


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