KERNERSVILLE, N.C. -- A local father is – in his words – outraged, after his daughter brought a book home from the school library which he says is “as close as you can get to a ‘50 Shades of Grey’ novel for a middle school child.”
Travis Vanhoy’s daughter is in the sixth grade at East Forsyth Middle School. On Tuesday, she brought home a book called “Real Live Boyfriends.”
“She said, ‘Daddy, this is weird,’ and I started reading in it and I was just outraged. It’s insanity,” Vanhoy said.
On page 101, the book reads:
“And if you don’t like me that much anymore, why do you like grabbing my boob?
In fact, I think you like grabbing my boob more now than you did before you left.
And oh, actually, that feels amazing.”
“It’s telling my 12-year-old daughter -- in my mind -- that it’s OK for a boy to touch her and do these things to her,” Vanhoy said.
The next page talks about neck-kissing and says; “Eventually when his hand roamed up my dress toward my butt…”
“That’s what it’s telling them. Telling them this is how you act and it’s just OK, it feels good, and that’s unacceptable,” Vanhoy said.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Chief of Staff Theo Helm says he is not familiar with the book in question, but the author is a Michael L. Printz honor winner.
“It’s important to see whole work of a book so everything can be seen in context,” Helm said.
Helm said that the school system’s media coordinators -- in conjunction with central office staff -- oversee the book collections which go into the school libraries. He continued to say that if parents have an issue, they should contact their child’s school.
“If they can’t just blatantly see why it’s wrong then they have no business in the school system,” Vanhoy said.
The book is listed as “young adult fiction” on the publisher’s website.