Advertisement

Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Borders and ‘Pop’ Culture

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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

90 Minutes in Heaven Hits Theaters Sept 11th
90 Minutes in Heaven is the film based on Don Piper, who died in a highway accident, experienced heaven and returned to face severe physical, emotional and spiritual challenges—has landed a distribution deal with Samuel Goldwyn Films. The ...

posted 11:32:37am Aug. 26, 2015 | read full post »

WM. Paul Young's Book "Eve" Hits Shelves Soon
After selling 25 million copies of his bestseller The Shack, author WM. Paul Young has written a new novel that will be one of the best books of our time - Eve. When a shipping container washes ashore on an island between our world and the ...

posted 12:01:28pm Aug. 25, 2015 | read full post »

The True Story Behind ‘Woodlawn’ Will Amaze You
The highly-anticipated film, ‘Woodlawn’ is a powerful story of courage, strength, and football in the midst of impassioned racial tensions in Birmingham, Alabama in the early ‘70s. New football coach, Tandy Gerelds was struggling to put ...

posted 9:04:51am Aug. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Little Boy Releases on DVD & Blu-ray
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_BdzqsIX6A[/youtube] The great inspirational tale about a seven-year-old boy and his efforts to bring his father back from the way, otherwise known as Little Boy, releases on Blu-ray and DVD today ...

posted 8:41:11am Aug. 18, 2015 | read full post »

For Real? Starbucks Will Offer Pumpkin in Fall Fav
I was pretty disappointed to find that Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte had no pumpkin in it. I ...

posted 6:00:37am Aug. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.