I first had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Brannen when her children’s book Uncle Bobby’s Wedding launched early last year. I wrote about the right wing’s first attack on the book, which involved shameless plagiarism of my earlier piece by ultra-conservative writer Brent Bozell III at Town Hall. I then followed the story as the book was challenged for the first and second times.
I asked Brannen this week what she thought about her book being challenged, not once or twice now, but enough to make the American Library Association’s list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2008. After the jump, her response:
It’s never a great feeling to know that someone is so unhappy with my book that they actually want it taken off the shelves. That’s certainly not what I was thinking about when I wrote and illustrated Uncle Bobby’s Wedding! However, it’s an honor to be on the “Top Ten” list with ten other terrific authors (Tango has two daddies). I was fortunate enough to participate in the ALA “Read-Out” on Saturday in Chicago with five of them, and many people shared letters they had gotten from people who were angry about their books. Lauren Myracle said she always answers and tries to get into a dialogue with parents, to try and get to a place where they can understand each others’ thoughts, and I think that’s a wonderful idea.
The more I hear from people who hate gay people so much they don’t even want children – any children – to know they exist, the more I hope my book will help open young minds. After all, there are over a million children in this country in households with same-sex parents, and they go to school with a whole lot of other kids. I just hope they can learn that people are all human beings. Even when they’re guinea pigs.
I can’t add anything to that. Thanks, Sarah.
Visit Sarah at her Web site.