BC writer Nikki Tate’s book Trouble on Tarragon Island was banned by the school librarian at Elizabeth Elementary in Kindersley, SK. The Globe and Mail has run two articles on this (Nov 13 and Nov 7) but you probably won’t be able to read them on their site as you need to pay for articles that are more than a day old.

The teacher librarian took issue with the phrase “generous bazoongas”. The Nov 13 G&M article explains the context:

When the grandmother poses for a nude calendar as a fundraising gimmick, the girl becomes the target of schoolyard taunts. “What they say about my grandmother is true,” the girl says. “She does have generous bazoongas, and all of Tarragon Island has seen them.”

The phrase generous bazoongas is hilarious in a very juvenile way, like the word fart. Even saying bazoongas makes me laugh–the sound of the word is funny. Bazoongas is more of a rare word that could be added to one’s language toolkit.

The article states:

The book was released in 2005 by Sono Nis Press of Winlaw, B.C. The publisher describes it as a work of juvenile fiction appropriate for ages 8 to 13. The book was one of nine nominated for a Diamond Willow Award in Saskatchewan, a reader’s choice prize for works suitable for Grades 4 to 6. However, the ban prevents children at Elizabeth Elementary from having classroom access to the title. Voting by pupils ends next February.

I know it makes a more convincing argument to include this book because it is seen as quality children’s literature. I think it’s troubling and elitist to not include fantastic trashy crap, though with extremely limited budgets basing selection on the latest award winners and finalists is a reality for many libraries with tight budgets. Hmmmmm…I wonder if the argument that further limiting school library budgets can be correlated to homogeneous library collections. Anyone from the BC School Libraries Coalition want to weigh in? Anyone else?

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