And that’s just nuts (sorry). In today’s NY Times: With One Word, Children’s Book Sets Off Uproar:
The word “scrotum” does not often appear in polite conversation. Or children’s literature, for that matter.
Yet there it is on the first page of “The Higher Power of Lucky,” by Susan Patron, this year’s winner of the Newbery Medal, the most prestigious award in children’s literature. The book’s heroine, a scrappy 10-year-old orphan named Lucky Trimble, hears the word through a hole in a wall when another character says he saw a rattlesnake bite his dog, Roy, on the scrotum.
“Scrotum sounded to Lucky like something green that comes up when you have the flu and cough too much,” the book continues. “It sounded medical and secret, but also important.”
The inclusion of the word has shocked some school librarians, who have pledged to ban the book from elementary schools, and reopened the debate over what constitutes acceptable content in children’s books.
I checked the Northfield Public Library online database and the book, classified as Juvenile Fiction, is on order. Thank you, Lynne Young and staff. You can also order the book here from River City Books, downtown Northfield.
Anyone know if the other schools in town plan to order it or ban it?
When my boys were little, we regularly did this routine: “Where’s your nose? Where’s your knee? Where’s your penis? Where’s your belly button? Where’s your ear? Where’s your scrotum? Where’s your ankle?” There all just body parts, folks. Nothing to fear.
And if there are any kids out there reading this and want to know more, check the Wikipedia entry for the word scrotum.
If you’re a librarian and a kid comes up to you and says, “What’s a scrotum?”, what do you say? “Ask your father”? “Let’s look it up together over here”?