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Norman parent’s questions stop author's visit to school

BY JENNIFER GRISWOLD Modified: September 22, 2009 at 10:07 am •  Published: September 22, 2009


All of Hopkins’ books deal with serious issues that teens face, she said. She’s trying to show students what could happen if they make bad choices and go down those paths.

"I’ve done hundreds of school visits, and I certainly have sensitivity to those audiences,” Hopkins said. "I always focus on an anti-drug message. Instead of trying to shoot the messenger, why don’t you open the book and look at the message.”

She describes her books as raw and honest, targeted to readers age 14 and older.

"It’s a very honest look, and it needs to be an honest look to make young people think,” she said. "I want to make them look at how their choices affect them in the future and affect those who love them.”

Jamie Chosak, director of Kids Right to Read Project, said her organization plans to get involved.

The organization is a collaboration of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and the National Coalition Against Censorship. It tracks censorship issues across the nation.

Chosak said she plans to send a letter to the school district because she feels it’s both censorship and a free speech violation. One parent’s issue with a book shouldn’t keep other students from having the choice to read it, she said.

Hopkins, who lives in Nevada, decided to come to Oklahoma anyway because she had already paid for a plane ticket.

Whittier librarian Karin Perry, who won the author visit in a charity auction, has scheduled an off-campus event tonight for students and their parents who would still like to hear Hopkins speak.

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