Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Jacqueline Wilson and the swear word row

You might have heard last week about the row over one of Jacqueline Wilson's books (My sister Jodie) being removed from Asda because a customer complained about the use of a swear word in it. The publisher has now agreed to change one letter of the offending word when the book is reprinted so that it will read "twit". You can read the report in the Telegraph and make up your own mind - is this censorship, or is the use of such language merely a reflection of the way children talk in the playground anyway? We have a copy in our collection and I felt, given the public fuss, I should maybe note on the date label that some language might offend - although our books are more likely to be read by students than "real live children", if they are taking them out on placement, that might not be the case. On the other hand, I'm sure we have plenty other books with words which will offend somebody somewhere, but which have not been annotated. I've done it anyway, then students can decide for themselves.

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