There are days when I am so damn proud to be a part of the YA community. And even prouder to be a part of the 2009 Debutantes--a group of YA authors who released their debut novels in 2009. The best thing about the Debs is that we didn't just come together for one year...we came together for the long-haul. And I *sniff* love these guys.
I have a particular fondness for one curly-haired deb, the funny, smart, oh-so-talented Sarah Ockler, who wrote what I consider to be one of the best YA books in the past few years--Twenty Boy Summer. The book is about love and loss and growth and life and it's beautiful. If I could write like Sarah, I would be a happy, happy woman.
But here's the thing...there's a guy in Missouri who thinks that Sarah's book is "filthy" because it deals with real life issues that teens in 2010 deal with, like peer pressure and drinking and love and sex. This man accused Sarah’s book, Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak (one of the most important and groundbreaking YA novels ever written) of being “soft pornography,” and inappropriate for the school library and English classes. And he's successfully had Slaughterhouse Five removed from the curriculum.
Look, this guy has the right not to read these books. And he has the right to hate these books. But he doesn't have the right to tell me, or my friends in Missouri, or you that you can't read them.
Which is where my fabulous Debs come in.
The Debs are giving away 38 copies of Twenty Boy Summer to 38 lucky commenters--in honor of Sarah, and of freedom and of awesome.
So...what are you still doing here? Get over there and win a book!