How to Piss Off a Bunch of YA Authors

It’s easy, really:

1. As a feminist magazine, create a list of “100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader,” as Bitch magazine recently did.

2. Include Margo Lanagan’s really fabulous book Tender Morsels on the list.

3. When someone complains in the comments to the list that Tender and a couple of other books are “triggering,” remove them from the list.

4. Sit back and watch as a number of high profile, award-winning and/or bestselling YA authors, including Scott Westerfeld, Justine Larbalestier, Maureen Johnson and Ellen Kages hit the roof and show up in the comments to demand their own books be removed from the list as well.

Maureen Johnson’s comment encapsulates the issue:

I have been incredibly disheartened to see your process for removing books. It mirrors EXACTLY the process by which book banners remove books from schools and libraries–namely, one person makes a comment, no one actually checks, book gets yanked…

[P]lease remember that young feminists are looking up to you. When they see you so easily intimidated, so easily swayed, so eager to make concessions . . . it sets exactly the wrong example.

What do I think? That Tender Morsels is a very good book, one that I have in my own library, and one that I’ll be happy to have my daughter read. Along with the books of Scott, Justine, Maureen and Ellen.

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