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article imageChildren's novel about stripping causes controversy

By Victoria N. Alexander     Dec 21, 2012 in Odd News
Carolina Beach - Tabitha Bachert, a mother in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, is upset that her 8-year-old daughter checked out 'The Glass Café' by Gary Paulsen from her school's library.
"It's not just about the 8 year old, because I read this book and I didn't like it either. It was offensive to me and I'm a 34-year-old woman," said Bachert.
Paulsen is a Newberry Award-winning author whose novel, written for grades 6-8, The Glass Cafe: Or the Stripper and the State; How My Mother Started a War with the System That Made Us Kind of Rich and a Little Bit Famous was published in 2003 to good reviews and has long been recommended by librarians. The story concerns a 12-year-old boy who goes to work with his mother, who dances at the Kitty Kat Club. According to the publisher’s book's description,
Twelve-year-old Tony is a budding artist, inspired by backstage life at the club. When some of his drawings end up in an art show and catch the attention of the social services agency, Al and Tony find themselves in the middle of a legal wrangle and a media circus. Is Al a responsible mother? It's the case of the stripper vs. the state, and Al isn't giving Tony up without a fight.
According to WECT, the book has been on the shelves at Carolina Beach Elementary's library since 2007 and has been checked out by 20 other students without raising questions. However Bachert wants to have the book removed from the school. A school spokesperson says that until a decision can be made about the book, it will remain off the shelves.
Victoria N. Alexander, PhD is the author of Trixie, a satirical look feminine sexuality and strip clubs in the American media.
More about Strippers, young adult fiction, Censorship, Gary Paulsen
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