I will be the first to admit that the first chapter of Rowell’s Eleanor and Park has many swear words in it. But, I also rode a school bus… in the era in which the book was set. And so, when I came across the following on the School Library Journal blog (http://schoollibraryjournal.tumblr.com/post/61518935744/because-the-characters-are-so-close-to-my-heart), I definitely thought it was worth sharing with you.
Because the characters are so close to my heart, and everything about this campaign deliberately misses the point of Eleanor and Park’s story.
When I told my sister that some people (Ed. note: or, you know, “one guy”) were outraged by the language in my book, she said, “They should try living through it.”
And that’s just it. Eleanor & Park isn’t some dystopian fantasy about a world where teenagers swear and are cruel to each other, and some kids have terrible parents.
Teenagers swear and are cruel to each other. Some kids have terrible parents.
Some girls have terrible stepdads who shout profanity at them and call them sluts – and some of those girls still manage to rise above it.
When these people call Eleanor & Park an obscene story, I feel like they’re saying that rising above your situation isn’t possible.
That if you grow up in an ugly situation, your story isn’t even fit for good people’s ears. That ugly things cancel out everything beautiful.
—Rainbow Rowell in “A Chat With Rainbow Rowell About Love and Censorship” byMallory Ortberg