Adult-Themed Comics At Library Shock Parents
Parents of a girl in Orange County, Fla., were shocked to discover that a comic book featuring adult-themed topics, like swinging and drugged and raped girls, was checked out by the 11-year-old at a library, according to a Local 6 News report.
The controversial Japanese comic book is part of a series that can be found in the young adult collection at the Orange County Library's Southeast Branch.
Local 6 News reported that the comic titled "Peach Girl" is about a young girl drugged by her friends and then set up to be raped.
"As I was going through it, I said, 'Oh my God, do parents know what their kids are reading?'" mother Raynelle White said.
One of the comics found by Problem Solver Nancy Alvarez featured parents who swap spouses. "That's swinging and this is a girl no older than my daughter," parent Travis White said. "Sex, drugs and violence are the themes in this series published by TokyoPop," Alvarez said.
White believes no one looked past the cover of the comic and it is time that things changed at the library.
Out of context, this seems horrible.
But Peach Girl is typical Japanese manga. The book (books, actually, as there are many in a series) are intended for young adult readers. I'd say high schoolers; middle school is a little young, but some readers are more mature. The books are Japanese, and Japanese sexual culture is very different than American. The books aren't "themed" around the sex, as the article suggests. They are about a teen girl and her search for love, much like many, many American books for teens. The main character sometimes gets into trouble, but she always escapes. Some characters are good and some are evil. There seems to be little middle ground on the good/evil theme.
I don't think it's up to the library to make sure your kids don't read books you find inappropriate; it is up to the parent. And when the parent isn't around, it is up to the child, who, hopefully, has been raised to know what Mom and Dad find acceptable and what they don't. Kind of like drugs. You can't always be there to say no for them, but you teach them to do it for themselves.
Other books you might see in school libraries that feature sex:
Fade by Robert Cormier -- A boy has the ability to make himself invisible and sees many things he doesn't like, including, in one scene, an incestuous relationship between a brother and sister.
When Jeff Comes Home by Catherine Atkins -- A boy is kidnapped at a rest area, sexually abused for years, and then returned home.
Go Ask Alice -- A girl runs away from home and performs sexual acts for drugs.
And the list goes on and on. I hope they don't pull the books. As Mark Twain said, "Censorship is like taking a steak away from a man just because a baby can't chew it."