Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


Borders and ‘Pop’ Culture

posted by Paul O'Donnell

Did bookstore mega-chain Borders ban a young adult novel because the book implied sex was as good as soda pop?

Borders’ recent decision not to stock the young adult novel “Pop!” has caused some puzzlement in the publishing industry. Though penned by a former “Sex in the City” writer, Aury Wallington, “Pop!”–published by Penguin’s Razorbill imprint–is not so different from many young adult novels: It features hot boys, a teenage girl who is ambivalent about what to do about them, and tons and tons of single-sentence paragraphs. Sex is amply represented in the novel–about a young woman’s quest to lose her virginity–but Wallington’s point, as she told one interviewer, is that “sex is going to have emotional consequences no matter how much you tell yourself that it’s not.” This is YA lit in the sex-ed-with-self-esteem mode invented by Judy Blume in her novel “Forever,” to which “Pop!” has been compared.

Why did Borders nix “Pop!”? The chain won’t say precisely, but there are some clues. For one, customers may special order it from their stores, meaning it was the display that made things dicey. And after giving The Book Standard a boilerplate answer about “making choices every day” about what to stock, the children’s buyer added, “Other factors in this decision include the format of the book, the price, the cover design, and the competitive landscape.” Since the format, price, and competitive landscape don’t distinguish “Pop!” the focus falls to the cover, which shows the title splashed across the front of a soda can.

Call it the Joe Camel Syndrome. Back in the ’90s, cigarette companies were excoriated for using cartoon characters to advertise their product, notably Camel’s hipster with the body of Ken doll and the head of a dromedary; ever since, any image that attracts the notice of children has raised hackles. In Marshall, Missouri, graphic novels with “themes” more innocuous than “Pop!” have nonetheless been banned from the local library because they look like comic books and might draw young readers.

Have young adult novels become too racy? Are young adults too sex-obsessed? Are the lessons of “Pop!” healthy for our teens? Don’t look for the answer here. We can say, however, that if you want to talk about sex in literature, label it like medicine.



  • http://daijinryuu.com Daijinryuu

    As famed comedian George Carlin once stated, Joe Camel didn’t make kids smoke, stress and anxiety led them to it!!

  • http://HASH(0xfe450b0) Paul Kelly

    Refreshing to see a secular business make the right choice not to display raunch. The devil has done a slow work over the generations. He is clearly in no hurry…we need to be sensitive and alert. My son sees things in high school classrooms that men used to pay to see when I was growing up. Wake up…everyone is “sex obsessed”. Lust is destroying this world.

Previous Posts

#MARCHON
In light of recent occurrences in addition to our day-to-day - we need, more than ever, to march on. #Marchon is a national platform for justice. It's the opportunity to let the world know what and how you feel. What are you passionate about? What do you believe needs to change? Where does the actio

posted 2:28:57pm Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Classic with a Modern Twist: What to Expect from Annie
It's a film that the whole family will enjoy. It's a film that will inspire you to look at life in a different lens. Moreover, it's a film that will keep you wanting more - what film are we talking about? None other than Annie. The talented cast include Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rose Byrne,

posted 8:00:55am Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Get Excited For the Holiday Film of the Year - Annie
Everyone is excited to see Annie, in theaters Dec. 19, staring Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Cameron Diaz. The film is a modern retelling of the story about an orphan who seeks optimism within the adversity that she faces every day. While you're waiting for the f

posted 9:30:10am Dec. 11, 2014 | read full post »

'Unbroken' is a True Gift This Christmas
// After 57 years of being hung up, now a war hero’s story is on the big screen. Unbroken, a true story based on U.S. POW and 1936 Olympic runner Louie Zamperini will be released on Christmas Day. The timing could not be more perfect said director and producer Angelina Jolie, who was emotionally e

posted 9:57:52am Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »

Dwayne ‘The Rock' Johnson Stars in Inspirational Show, ‘Wake Up Call’
“Wake Up Call,” a new reality series coming to TNT, is about inspiration and transformation. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson uses his personal story of triumph and determination to help everyday people, who are facing enormous challenges in their lives. The Rock, known for his distinguished wre

posted 12:05:11pm Dec. 09, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.