According to The Bismarck Tribune, author John Berendt has a new respect for North Dakota, after his book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was first pulled, then reinstated in the Beulah High School library.

While he was initially shocked at the book’s removal after parent’s complained about “pornographic” content, he followed the news and comments and was happily surprised by the community response. As The Bismarck Tribune reports:

He was as surprised by the accusation of pornography as he was impressed by the “spirited defense,” not only of his book, but in opposition to book banning in general, posted by blog contributors.

He was particularly impressed by three high school students who showed up at a school board meeting to defend his book, as well as the Beulah school librarian, who he describes as a “hero.”

Instances of book-banning are troubling, but it is encouraging when community members engage in a meaningful discussion about book-banning and use avenues of speech to influence and reverse the decisions of school boards.