Sex God Stays on Montana School Shelves

Sex God Stays on Montana School Shelves

A materials review committee for the Bozeman (Mont.) School District voted unanimously January 12 to retain Louise Rennison’s On the Bright Side, I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God: Further Confessions of Georgia Nicolson in the district’s middle-school libraries. The book had been challenged by Pius Ruby, whose 12-year-old attends the Sacajawea Middle School. Ruby feared that an unstable person seeing a girl reading the book might think from the title that the girl was promiscuous and stalk her, according to the January 11 Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

At the meeting, Ruby argued that the title was “misleading, degrading, and harmful to the minds and possibly the safety” of girls. Sally Bell, a teacher from England, countered that the term “sex god” is British slang for handsome man, and that children are exposed to far more salacious material on television than in the Rennison book.

Before the vote, Bozeman High School librarian MaryAnne Coopersmith suggested that the review committee send a message with its vote that “no way, not in my community, are we going to allow censorship.” The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom listed Rennison on its top-10 list of authors whose works received the most challenges in 2003.

Posted January 14, 2005.