Dog Parts Deemed Too Hot for School Libraries

| Sun Feb. 18, 2007 5:55 PM EST

hpol.jpg
Susan Patron's book, The Higher Power of Lucky, won the prestigious Newberry Award—meaning, it's a really good children's book.

No matter, librarians across the country are refusing to put it on the shelves.

That's because one of its thousands of words is "scrotum." Which is weird, but not worthy of a ban. The protagonist of the book overhears a conversation about a dog being bitten on the scrotum by a rattlesnake. She then endeavors to understand the meaning of this strange word. After all, she's 10 and naturally curious about things adults won't explain to her.

But librarians are refusing to stock the book because they don't want to have to explain the word to students.

Let me help: when boy dogs aren't fixed, it's the thingy that hangs down between their back legs.

We're not even talking about human parts, here—we're talking about dog parts that are out in the open for the world to see. Kids might see dog scrotums at such time-honored kid hangouts as the park. Do they not ask there what they are? I mean, isn't talking about body parts in an utterly non-sexual way the best way to introduce soon-to-be sex ed-aged students to the strange ways of nature? Or should we banish all anatomical words from the language since, clearly, it's the words not the parts themselves that inspire young people to have sex?

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.