From the Ottawa Citizen:
A Kanata children’s author has joined a protest over the awarding of a Governor General’s Literary Award to what critics are calling a “vulgar” and “gratuitous” book for young adults about gender identity issues in high school.
Kathy Clark says she is among 1,500 people across Canada petitioning the Canada Council to revoke the 2014 award because of graphic content in Raziel Reid’s debut novel When Everything Feels like the Movies.
The novel is inspired by the true story of an openly gay 15-year-old California boy who was shot to death in 2008 by a classmate he’d asked to be his Valentine.
. . . .
Clark, author of two children’s books, says Reid’s use of language is inappropriate for a book recognized in the young adult classification (12 to 18) within the children’s literature category.
“I know it’s difficult to write about difficult and sensitive issues,” says Clark. “But it’s very possible to write about them in an appropriate way without resorting to vulgar language.”
. . . .
In a statement to the Citizen, the 25-year-old author said he set out to reflect what young people talk about, and how they talk about it.
“I’m not promoting a culture, I’m depicting one — and I’m doing it with the graphic language that culture uses, and with the themes that culture is consumed with: fame, drugs, sex, and selfies,” Reid said.
“For my generation, a (Facebook) Like has replaced physical warmth and affection. This has created a nihilistic society obsessed with ‘instafame’ and instant gratification. As a result, youth are facing a deeper isolation than ever before. I wrote this story so that readers can understand lost teenagers like my narrator Jude Rothesay.”
Link to the rest at Ottawa Citizen