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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The Dirty Cowboy... banned???

I recently learned of a case of outrageous censorship occurring in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. THE DIRTY COWBOY, written by Amy Timberlake and illustrated by Adam Rex, has been pulled from the school library shelves because TWO parents complained about it. The school board then banned it in an 8 to 0 vote. They called the book a gateway to pornography. Ummmm...
     The book is about a cowboy who needs a bath. The official description is:
"After he finds a tumbleweed in his chaps and the numerous bugs buzzing around him affect his hearing, the cowboy decides it’s time to head to the river. Once there, he peels off all his clothes and tells his trusty old dog to guard them against strangers. He takes a refreshing bath and emerges clean as corn – but so fresh-smelling that his dog doesn’t recognize him! Negotiations over the return of the clothes prove fruitless. A wrestling match ensues in a tale that grows taller by the sentence, climaxing in a fabric-speckled dust devil."
     Just to be clear - there is NO unacceptable nudity in the book. Adam cleverly concealed anything that anybody might find offensive. In fact, that's part of the fun of the book - how creative he got with hiding the cowboy's nakedness. Many a Norman Rockwell magazine cover showed more nudity than this book does!
     Luckily, there has been some push-back from the Lebanon community. A local math teacher did a reading at a "Celebration of Reading" event. (You can see him reading it HERE - with commentary on the censorship and the entire reading.) Amy has been interviewed twice. (You can read her original write-up on the controversy at HER BLOG and a FOLLOW-UP POST HERE.) And of course she's getting lots of support from our very tight creative community.
     Here was the book trailer she did way back when...

     You can actually hear Amy's grandfather ("Papa") telling the story HERE. And there was even an adaptation made about it for musical theater for kids!
     Want to take action against censorship and especially the censorship of this wonderful book? Go buy a copy! Show your support.
     Oh, and support the author! Amy has a new book coming out this January called ONE CAME HOME.

     Read more about the controversy at Uma Krishnaswami's blog: Pulled? Banned? What? The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake.

8 comments:

Hardygirl said...

Oh good lord.

How absolutely ridiculous!!!

But . . . her sales will go crazy, at least.

CG said...

Ridiculous. I did FaceBook this. Looks like a really cute book!

Rhonda Miller said...

That's just silly. I've seen many books with this kind of stuff in them. I don't see my kids on the road to pornography. There's worse stuff on TV, in newspaper adds, etc... I hope things work out for her.

2KutiesGrandma said...

This is just crazy! My reaction was to go to Amazon and purchase a copy for my grandchildren to show my support for the author and illustrator.

Julie Hedlund said...

I already own a copy, and I can't believe how outrageous this is! Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

I'm so glad y'all feel as strongly about this as I do. Of course, you're my peeps! Hugs, e

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

I love this story! People can be scary dumb!

Deebi27 said...

Good lord, can't these excuse of parents find some real pornography and complain about it! I have a copy of this book and the kids love it!

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