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

Blasting Off in an Imperfect World
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HodFzcJHIYI 23 Blast is a touching film about Travis Freeman (Mark Hapka) who was a high school football player for the Corbin High School Redhounds in Kentucky and was stricken with Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis, which  destroyed his optical nerves. But Coach Ferris

posted 9:14:00am Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Author Ted Dekker Wows Us Again With A.D. 30: A Novel
Critics are raving about Ted Dekker's new book A.D. 30: A Novel. Readers will experience the story of Jesus as they never have before. Publisher's Weekly said, "The reigning king of Christian thrillers...kicks down the door of biblical fiction." Booklist said, "This is the kind of book term 'sweepin

posted 3:42:39pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

#IAMUnbroken Campaign Celebrates Louis Zamperini’s Unbroken Spirit
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZeGuTYHuI4&feature=share[/youtube] Do you have a story of perseverance, triumph or the power of God delivering you from a trial? UNBROKEN, a powerful faith-revitalizing film, chronicles the life of former Olympian, WWII veteran and POW Survivor, Louis Z

posted 9:50:55am Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Jennifer Garner Discusses Film, Dirty Diapers, and Husband’s Secret Talent
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_dideF5qvk   Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is based on the children’s book of the same title, follows Alexander and his family’s crazy and brutal day. Whether it is baby Trevor eating a dark green highlighter since his p

posted 9:57:51am Oct. 17, 2014 | read full post »

The Rise of ISIS
“It’s past time for American to hear this truth. By minimizing the challenge,” Jay Sekulow (American Center Law Justice) wrote in his September opinion piece on FoxNews.com. The world is facing a serious threat in the Middle East with ISIS, a group of terrorists dedicated to mass executions

posted 10:16:20am Oct. 14, 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.