Arizona School District Removes Teen-Advice Title

Arizona School District Removes Teen-Advice Title

The objections of a Mesa, Arizona, mother to the presence of Deal with It! A Whole New Approach to Your Body, Brain, and Life As a Gurl in the Desert Ridge High School library collection have led to three high schools in the Gilbert Unified School District withdrawing the title.

The late September removal of the title occurred just as Deborah Myers’s concerns about Deal with It! were appearing in the media. “There’s a part on how to give oral sex. Is it factual and truthful? Probably. Is it something that kids need to know? No,” Myers said in the October 1 Phoenix Arizona Republic. Her 16-year-old daughter Pamella told the Republic that other students would often gather around the book and laugh: “When I finally did see it, I was so disgusted. It’s hilarious, but it’s so wrong. Somebody’s little sister might find it.”

Gilbert High School librarian Tally Satterthwaite told American Libraries that a few male students argued after she withdrew the title, “Wouldn’t you rather have us read about sexuality in a book?” She responded, “Do you need a book on the best position for giving a girl an orgasm?” The boys replied, “Oh.”

“I had a good reason for choosing the book and a good reason for removing it,” Satterthwaite told American Libraries. She explained that Deal with It! was among the titles recommended by the American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services Association on its 2001 “Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers” and that the book review she subsequently consulted did not mention its explicit description of sexual techniques.

“Did I make some horrible mistake by ordering filth? No,” Satterthwaite asserted, adding, “I just got a book that was inappropriate for my user base.”

Posted October 8, 2004.