So I’ve been thinking about that issue in the Truth About T.M.S. I don’t know…it MIGHT fly… my editor at Albert Whitman makes me take out every single swear word (not that there are ever very many), but they published my Alexandra Hopewell, Labor Coach, which has a VERY graphic childbirth scene in it. I got a number of rejections on that manuscript from editors at some of the larger houses who said, “I really like this…except for the childbirth scene. Can you tone that down?” Well…no, I really didn’t think I could…not without ruining the book. So none of those publishers published it. But Albert Whitman did!
They also published My Mom’s Having a Baby, which isn’t just about a girl whose mom is expecting a baby. It also gives a lesson in sex ed and explains exactly how the baby got inside Mom in the first place. (There are even pictures that offend one of my sisters-in-law, but she’s not as open with her kids about sex, drugs etc. as I am with mine. Trust me, the pictures are wonderful!) I’ve visited schools where I’ve been told they don’t have that book in their library, but the fifth grade teachers all have it for the sex ed. unit (which I find interesting…I wasn’t aiming at that old of an audience when I wrote it).
My point is…Albert Whitman is not opposed to publishing something that someone, somewhere could take offense to. They’re just aware of the kinds of things that keep books out of schools (like swearing). *I* actually want to see this book in schools, too, so I’m willing to set up a different issue if my editor thinks this is too controversial. It’s time to stop rehashing all this and just see what she says…so I e-mailed it off to her tonight.