Later this month the Kids’ Right to Read Project will interview John Coy, author of YA novels Box Out and Crackback, and would like your help designing the interview. Crackback was challenged in September at a school in Helena, Alabama. Coy worked with KRRP and the local Library Media Specialist in support of the right to read and so we are pleased to report a First Amendment victory. This week the school’s review committee met and decided to take no removal action. Crackback will remain where it is on the library shelves!

As many of you may be aware, challenges which cite gay-themes as their grounds appear to be on the rise. In a School Library Journal interview, Mr. Coy shared his experience with this type of censorship after an appearance at a suburban Minneapolis bookstore last fall.

“I later found out that middle school librarians were saying they couldn’t carry the book because there was one lesbian character in it—and she wasn’t the main focus of the book”

says Coy, who was stunned because, if anything, he had anticipated objections to the novel’s questioning of school prayer. Coy is no longer stunned. Challenges on these grounds are frequent and their impact can be devastating. The right to read and access materials belongs to everyone – regardless of our backgrounds!

In an online chat with KRRP, Lee Wind lends his perspective to the frequent challenges to LGBTQ kids’ and YA literature across the country.  We talk about how these books are essential for building a new cultural “myth,” the conflation of homosexuality and sex, and the pros and cons of having a separate genre for LGBTQ. Visit Banned Books Week and KRRP’s LGBTQ Resource for more information.

KRRP wants to know what you, our readers, think about this and what questions you have for John Coy. What are your experiences with John Coy as a writer?  How do you feel knowing his books have been censored?  What would you like to know about him or his experience?  If you have any questions for John, please comment below and we will select a few to ask during the interview and post the responses to our blog, so stay tuned!